2020 American Hero Award Recipients

Each year, HireQuest Inc. and the Higher Quest Foundation host the American Hero Awards. The ceremony recognizes two American service men or women who have gone above the call of duty in service to their country.

Ultimate Hero Award Recipient Captain Richard Cliff, U.S. Air Force

Capt Cliff, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., was a Wando High School graduate who loved surfing, skiing, and mountain climbing. He captained the ROTC Ranger Challenge Team at Appalachian State University, and joined the Air Force in 2002.

On his third deployment in Afghanistan, Capt Cliff was killed in action along with two other members of his team in the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group. They were attacked on Sept. 29, 2008, while on patrol in Helmand Province. He is survived by wife, Stacy, and their son, Richard; as well as his mother, Julie, father, Richard, and brother, Eddie.

Capt Cliff’s commendations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, 5 U.S. Army commendation medals, National Defense Service medal, Basic Airborne insignia, Ranger tab, and Special Forces tab.

American Hero Award Recipient: James Gobble, U.S. Marine Corps (ret.)

James Gobble is a classic example of an American hero beyond the battlefield.

A former Marine, Gobble served domestically from 1991 to 1995. Since then, he’s worked extensively with suicide prevention programs focused on veterans and their surviving family members, inspired by the death of his own sister, SCPO Kim Hunter, U.S. Navy Reserve. His work in the community began in 2009 as a volunteer with the tragedy assistance program for survivors. There, he focused on mentoring the children of deceased service members as they processed their loss.

Today, in addition to his volunteer work, he is studying toward a master’s degree in clinical mental health and seeks to become a licensed professional counselor.