Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund Receives Department of the Army’s Distinguished Public Service Medal

ASHBURN, VIRGINIA – AUGUST 27, 2019 – Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund was recently awarded the Department of the Army’s Distinguished Public Service Medal for exceptional service and support to the United States Army and the Department of Defense. Established by the Secretary of the Army in 1956, the Medal recognizes distinguished service that makes a substantial contribution to the accomplishment of the Army's missions.

Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund was established in 2014 by a group of West Point classmates to honor service and sacrifice by providing scholarships and education opportunities to veterans and military family members, especially children of the fallen or disabled. Their inspiration was their classmate Colonel John “Johnny Mac” McHugh, killed in action on May 18, 2010 while deployed to Afghanistan. Colonel McHugh left behind a family of five children.

“We’re truly honored to receive this award from the Department of the Army,” said Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund President MaryEllen Picciuto. “It validates the efforts of our donors, sponsors, friends, and advocates who together have formed a patriotic network of supporters that makes our work possible and helps us achieve results.” She added that the recognition “motivates us to continue to impact this enormous need.” 

Picciuto shared the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund Distinguished Public Service Medal citation which reads in part:

The generosity and commitment of the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund has enhanced the lives of those who need it the most. By giving back through education, Johnny Mac honors the hard work and sacrifice of service members, veterans, and their families in a way that will endure and continue to contribute well into the future. This unwavering commitment and dedication to soldiers and their families is in keeping with the highest traditions of public service and reflects distinct credit on the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, the United States Army, and the Department of Defense.

About Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund

Established in 2014, the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring military service and sacrifice by providing college scholarships to veterans and military family members, particularly children of our nation’s fallen. The fund is inspired by Colonel John “Johnny Mac” McHugh, KIA in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 18, 2010. To date, Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund has awarded $12 million in college scholarships and education programs, funding over 1,500 students. To learn more or to support the mission of Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, visit