LIVE UPDATES: Fox Nation Patriot Awards showcase everyday heroes from across the country

Hosted by Pete Hegseth, the Patriot Awards highlight great Americans and everyday heroes from across the country.

D’Corey Johnson, a third-grade student from New York State whose rendition of the national anthem has gone viral, will kick off the awards show, followed by an appearance by the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.

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In his opening remarks, emcee Hegseth made the comparison between the two American “Hollywoods” – the one in Broward County, Fla., where the Patriot Awards are taking place – and the one in Los Angeles, Calif., where the entertainment awards take place.

He praised the service of American military members, saying that they all collectively are the “reason we are here.”

“Our 244 year old experiment in human freedom … is today the most free, most diverse, most tolerant, most just and most prosperous country the world has ever seen,” Hegseth added.

“If you don’t love it, you can always leave it.”

Hegseth was followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who welcomed the Fox Nation Patriot Awards to his state, which he called the “freest in the Union.”

“We worked very hard over the last year and a half standing up to bureaucrats, standing up to corporate media, to keep Florida open,” he said. “We were not going to let Florida descend into a Faucian Dystopia where people’s freedom were curtailed and lives were destroyed.”

“We choose Freedom over Fauciism,” the governor continued, going on to praise military servicemembers and celebrate the fact that Sunshine State law enforcement officers will not be defunded or forced to abide by vaccine mandates.

The first presenter of the evening – for Most Valuable Patriot Award — was “Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham.

“Our most valuable patriot absolute radiates a positive… attitude,” Ingraham said. “While so many athletes … use their platforms to criticize America, but never China, our MVP uses hers to express her love for America.”

The winner was U.S. Olympian Tamyra Mensah-Stock. Mensah-Stock was the first Black woman to win gold in U.S. Olympic wrestling history. She is the daughter of a Ghanian father and American mother and grew up in Illinois. She competed in the 2020 games in the 68-kilogram category.

“Unfiltered” host Dan Bongino and Fox Nation investigative reporter Lara Logan presented the second award; for Heroism.

Logan said this year’s award winner, Lt. Col. Scott Mann, commenced a veteran-run mission, collaborating U.S. Special Forces to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan amid President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal.

Mann, a retired Green Beret, led “Task Force: Pineapple” – which successfully helped evacuate stranded American citizens and other individuals from the now-Taliban-controlled country.

In his remarks, Mann said he is “absolutely not a hero, but got to serve with a whole bunch of them.”

“This [award] is for all the men and women I served with over 20 years in Afghanistan… this is for the 13 [American servicemembers] that didn’t come home.”

“This is also for our Afghan partners – who fought to the last round.”

“When institutional leadership failed us, a lot of combat veterans from both sides of the aisle… all stepped into the breach,” he added.

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Next, Sean Hannity introduced the Patriot Awards’ In-Memoriam remembrance for the 13 fallen service members who died in the August 2021 suicide bomb attack during the evacuation of Kabul.

Hannity added that he will not stop tallying the days since Biden “abandoned Americans” in Afghanistan in August.

Hannity also offered a moment of praise to the late conservative icon Rush Limbaugh, who died earlier this year after a battle with cancer.

“We will miss our friend,” he said.

The hosts of “Fox & Friends” – Ainsley Earhardt, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade – next presented the award for Modern Warrior.

The winner of the Modern Warrior Award was Army Sgt. 1st Class John Goudie, a Purple Heart recipient who lost his left leg and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“Despite his injuries, Goudie deployed again to another combat mission to Afghanistan,” said Earhardt.

“I have the ability and I think it’s a blessing and a gift – by getting up and being in a positive place have the ability to inspire everyone around me,” Goudie said of his life after service.

“I would start to say, be positive, stand up for what you believe in, and fight for it,” said Goudie.

This is a developing story.

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