Two students from Washburn Rural Middle School were presented the Discovery Award through the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes.

The eighth graders, Megan Christensen and Meredith Kucera, found out that they came in second place in the national competition and won a $2,000 award on Wednesday, September 20.  

The documentary called “The Incredibly Stupid One” tells the story of Douglas Hegdal, a Vietnam war veteran who risked his life and reputation to help fellow soldiers. 

“There’s a lot of really good music in there that was from that time era,” said Kucera. “I really like that music. We had to cut the audio so it wasn’t messing with the words that Megan was saying. It was hard to get through but I think it turned out really well.” 

Hegdal turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom multiple times, making him the perfect subject for a story about an unsung hero. 

“Richard Straton said that he didn’t really like to be recognized a lot…he didn’t want his story to be famous…he didn’t want to be famous or anything like that,” said Christensen.

They got the idea from Kucera’s seventh grade history teacher, Tim Nedeau. 

“We brainstormed together and it was actually the next day where it just hit me while I was home and I said I have a really good story so,” said Nedeau. 

Their enrichment teachers Lindsey Dowell and Alice Bertels say although Hegdal is an unsung hero,  they hope he sees their documentary and gets the recognition he deserves. 

Christensen and Kucera will begin working on next year’s competition entry next week. 

You can watch their documentary here