The Forty & Eight  Charitable Veterans Since 1920

501(c)(19) non profit, tax exempt

40&8 National Headquarters; 777 N. Meridian Street; Indianapolis, IN 46204-1170

317 634-1804 ~ ~


Contact: M. Anich, 402 884-2428;

“40&8” National Veterans Recognize Hero of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS  September 12, 2005    The Forty & Eight national veterans’ organization will recognize Mr. Shea Peterson, of Escalon, California, as the organization’s Hero of the Year for 2005, during the Forty & Eight’s national convention at the Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Award presentation will be 1:30 pm, Friday, September 23, 2005.

On June 11th, 2005, Mr. Shea Peterson, a FEDEX employee, was driving a load of packages along the Delta-Mendota Canal south Santa Nella, CA.  As Peterson approached a bridge crossing the canal, he spotted a car upstream that had just seconds before crashed into the canal with two occupants, a 16 year old boy and his grandfather, Warren Smith, 63.  Both struggled to exit the rapidly sinking vehicle.  As the water carried the car downstream near Peterson’s position, he saw the boy exit the car and swim to the opposite bank, where the boy screamed that his grandfather’s prosthetic leg would hamper his efforts to escape.  Peterson dove into the rushing torrent and found the elderly Smith underwater, still clinging to the submerged vehicle.  Peterson swam the grandfather to safety, where Peterson turned the victims over to the California Highway Patrol and then continued on his delivery route.

Forty & Eight national commander, Chef de Chemin de Fer, Russell “Mac” McCarthy said, “Heroism is seen these days in Iraq, in New Orleans, in our streets and homes and even in a rain swollen canal in California, where Americans like Mr. Shea Peterson make a heroic difference that saves lives… we are proud to honor Shea Peterson as our 2005 Hero of the Year.”

The Forty & Eight was founded in 1920 as a charitable honor society of American wartime veterans.  Its programs include Nurses Training, Child Welfare, Flags for First Graders, Carville Hansens Disease Center support, VA Voluntary Service programs and a special program that supports American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan who are hospitalized in Germany.

For questions regarding the Cincinnati convention, September 21 through 24, 2005, please contact J. Dolwig at 513 242-7179.

For general information about the Forty & Eight please visit the Forty & Eight Online Media Kit at