Best Hero

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Orange County sheriff's deputy Scott Montoya took temporary leave, volunteered for Iraq War duty as a U.S. Marine sergeant, and ignored incoming enemy fire to rescue four seriously wounded colleagues and a civilian during the Battle of Baghdad. In January 2005, President George W. Bush hailed Montoya's bravery and bestowed upon him Navy Cross honors at a White House ceremony. However, Montoya returned to work in Orange County not as a hero, but as a laughingstock. Montoya was later fired unjustly, causing him to sue for wrongful termination and have a jury award him damages. But Sheriff Sandra Hutchens refused to pay up, setting up more court hearings before cooler heads in county government prevailed and cut Montoya checks of more than $2 million in April. Thanks for your service, Sergeant Montoya (and for the scratch, OC taxpayers).

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