Written by Robb Westaby, Fox 17 Web Producer
(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Tuesday, September 1, 2009) - Iraq War veteran Jason Hilla was awarded Tuesday the first-ever Grand Rapids City Manager's Special Recognition Award for helping a Gulf War vet during a seizure.
The award was presented during the week's City Commission meeting.
It was on March 24 this year when Hilla, while doing some volunteer work at the Veterans Cemetery next to the Grand Rapids Veterans Home, noticed a man going into a diabetic seizure.
Gary Elya had forgotten to eat, but fortunately for him, Hilla's Iraq training kicked in.
"I took his jacket off, took his shirt off, took my sweatshirt and put it on top of him, reassured him that everything was going to be okay," said Hilla that day.
Tuesday was Hilla's day, as the new Grand Rapids city manager, Greg Sundstrom, inaugurated a new honor, the first Grand Rapids City Manager's Special Recognition Award.