Local News

Fuquay-Varina man to receive nation's second highest civilian honor

Posted February 11, 2013 11:17 p.m. EST

— A Fuquay-Varina man will receive the Presidential Citizens Medal – one of the highest civilian honors – from President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday.

Michael Dorman was nominated for his work with Military Missions in Action, a nonprofit he founded in 2008 that helps veterans with disabilities.

“I think it’s a great honor, but it’s an honor I accept for all the men and women who wear our uniform,” Dorman said. “None of this would ever happen without volunteers.”

Army veteran Dick Pinney is one of the beneficiaries of Dorman’s help. The 75-year-old had five spinal fusions, making simple tasks, like walking to the end of his driveway and back, very painful.

“I’ve got bad legs, a very bad back,” he said.

As Pinney’s ailments ramped up, Dorman stepped in and built a ramp to help him get in and out of his house.

“The man is an angel,” Pinney said. “I’ve done nothing but rave and rant about the job he did to everyone I know.”

Pinney isn't the only one ranting and raving. So is Nancy Hartley.

“He is a hero to me for what he’s done for those vets,” she said.

Hartley nominated Dorman for the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation's second highest civilian honor. More than 6,000 people were nominated, and Dorman will be one of only 13 people to receive the honor.

Since 2008, Military Missions in Action has completed more than $2 million worth of service projects. Last year, the group provided assistance to 6,000 homeless veterans, shipped more than 1,200 care packages to servicemen in combat areas and completed nearly $1 million in home modifications for servicemen and women.

“We don’t care if they just got back from Afghanistan or if it’s a World War II veteran who can’t get in and out of the bathtub,” Dorman said.

As for Pinney, he looks forward to using his ramp for a very special occasion – his upcoming wedding.

“Oh yeah, I’m going to wheel her right across that threshold,” he said.