2015 Man of the Year: Chris Mintz

Soldiers line up to shake hands with Chris Mintz / AP
December 31, 2015

Army veteran Chris Mintz became a national symbol for heroism in October after a lone gunman entered Oregon’s Umpqua Community College and shot and killed nine people.

As students and teachers ran for safety, Mintz put his own safety aside and ran toward the danger in an attempt to help others. Mintz sounded the fire alarm to warn others in the school and then ran to his classroom to help others get to safety. This is when Mintz came face-to-face with the shooter.

Mintz tried to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom, but he was shot several times, which caused him to fall to the ground. When the gunman entered the classroom, Mintz told him that it was his son’s birthday that day and that he didn’t have to do this. The gunman ignored Mintz’s plea and shot him two more times.

After being shot a total of seven times, Mintz was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent several hours of surgery. Mintz survived his injuries and a week later was released from the hospital. He is expected to make a full recovery.

This ten-year Army veteran reminds us that even when our soldiers put away the uniform, these remarkable individuals never stop being heroes. For his heroic defense of his peers and for confronting the gunman, Chris Mintz is a Free Beacon Man of the Year.