Bryan Man is Finalist for Medal of Honor Citizen Award

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

A Bryan man carried an elderly woman out of a burning home on his back last October. Now, that man is a finalist for the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Service award.

Jorge Martinez is one of only three finalists in Texas, and 23 finalists in the country.

“I’m a hard working family man, and I work as a plumber,” said Martinez.

Martinez says he's just an ordinary guy.

However, Martinez did something extraordinary last October.

On his way home from work on Oct. 16, Martinez says he noticed smoke coming from a nearby house. He turned onto Lynn Dr. in Bryan, and someone standing outside the house told him an elderly woman was trapped inside. Firefighters hadn't arrived yet.

Without thinking, Martinez says he kicked down the door, went into the burning house, and carried 85-year-old Doris Ercanbrack out on his back. Ercanback was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Doris Ercanbrack died at the hospital a couple weeks after the fire, but her family nominated Martinez for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation's Citizen Service Before Self award.

“He saved someone else's life and he didn't even know who they were except that they needed help,” said Thomas Wilkerson, President and CEO of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. “It should be pretty clear to all of us, that with that courage, selflessness, and willingness to risk his life...that he stands very tall as a hero in your community.”

The winner of this year's award will be announced Monday, March 13.

The top four finalists will be awarded their medals on March 25 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

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