SELMA – The CrisCom Company is honoring Selman Sam Esraelian with its 2017 Leader For America Award at the next Selma District Chamber of Commerce mixer at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. The ceremony will be at the Selma Fire Department Training Center, 1711 Tucker St.

Esraelian is a U.S. Army veteran and is being hailed as an American hero by CrisCom Company officials.

“Sam continues to be the epitome of a true country-loving soldier and humble volunteer,” CrisCom President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Jelloian said.

Esraelian served in the Korean War as a platoon sergeant with the 2nd Infantry Division. He was awarded three medals for his outstanding service. Esraelian is credited with saving the lives of his his fellow soldiers when he shot a North Korean soldier who was attempting to attack their foxhole.

The veteran took part in the 11th annual Central Valley Honor Flight in 2016. The flight honors Central Valley veterans who served in World War II and the Korean War by sending them to visit national memorials in Washington D.C. During that visit, Esraelian was chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He described the honor as “the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”

Esraelian has been a member of the American Legion for more than 35 years. For the past 16 years he has placed American flags on graves for both Memorial Day and Veterans Day. He has also served as the American Legion Scholarship Committee chairman.

Esraelian has also been a member of Fowler’s St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church for more than 50 years and has volunteered countless hours on Parish Council, Men’s Forum and the Building Committee.

Esraelian family history demonstrates their struggle to survive as his mother survived the Armenian Genocide with his grandmother when she was a young girl. His grandmother died during their escape, but his mother journeyed on and made her way to safety and freedom in America. Esraelian was born at the family farm in Selma where he and his four siblings were raised. He attended local schools and graduated from Selma High School in 1947. He worked on the family farm until he was drafted in 1951. In 1962, he purchased his family’s farm and continues to be a stalwart in the community and an avid family man, organizers said.

The CrisCom Company established its Leader for America award in 2007 and names recipients who are “extraordinary leaders who have made a tremendous impact benefitting our nation in a positive way,” Jelloian said.

Established in 1997, The CrisCom Company is a nationwide governmental affairs, business development and public relations firm with corporate headquarters located in Chatsworth.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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