Legion's highest honors awarded

ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff received The American Legion National Commander’s Public Relations Award during a luncheon held Feb. 27 during the Legion's 53rd annual Washington Conference. He was on assignment in Syria and was unable to attend the luncheon.

Woodruff was co-anchor of ABC’s "World News Tonight" when he was wounded by a roadside bomb near Taji, Iraq, on Jan. 29, 2006. In addition to his outstanding reporting about the challenges facing veterans and their families, Woodruff created the nonprofit Bob Woodruff Foundation, which is dedicated to helping wounded veterans recover and readjust into society.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia received The American Legion Distinguished Public Service Award on Feb. 26 during the Commander’s Call at the Washington Conference. "I thank you for recognizing me for this award," Webb said to those in attendance. "And to all of you here, I appreciate what you have done for your country and what you are doing now on behalf of those who serve."

Webb is a highly decorated Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran, earning the Navy Cross, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts, author and sponsor of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act. National Commander Jim Koutz called Webb "a man of courage, intelligence and integrity," who was honored with the award for his service to the Marine Corps, Department of Defense, Naval Academy and Post-9/11 GI Bill.

"When I put that GI Bill in the hopper I said, ‘You know, we keep saying this is the next greatest generation, but remember what we did for the greatest generation - we gave them the best GI Bill in history, we paid their tuition, bought their books and gave them a stipend. Let’s do that again.’ And we did. Now, there’s 900,000 (veterans and servicemembers) who have a chance of a first-class future because of the Post-9/11 GI Bill."

Webb was also the recipient National Commander’s Public Relations Award in 1979 after writing "Field of Fire," a novel about several Marines serving during the Vietnam War.