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Imran Yousuf, who saved over 70 lives during the Pulse Nightclub massacre, to receive the AMPA Community Hero Award

The American Military Partner Association is pleased to announce that Imran Yousuf of Orlando, Florida, will be honored with the 2016 AMPA Community Hero Award at the inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala on Saturday, September 17, 2016, in San Diego, California. Yousuf, a recent Marine Corps veteran, is widely credited with having saved more than 70 lives during the worst mass shooting in United States history at the Orlando LGBT nightclub, Pulse, in June.

“Imran represents the best of America and the best of America’s military community, as evidenced by his quick and heroic actions amid the chaos and carnage of the tragedy in Orlando,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “While he humbly may not consider himself a hero, his courageous actions in the face of mortal danger that saved the lives of more than 70 of our LGBT brothers and sisters say otherwise. He is certainly a hero to our community and to all of America, and we are proud to honor Imran with our 2016 Community Hero Award at the inaugural AMPA West Coast Gala in San Diego.”

Early in the morning of June 12, 2016, a gunman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State entered the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and began the worst mass shooting in American history. By the time the carnage ended, 49 innocent people were dead and an additional 53 were injured in the attack. While the shooting was ongoing, Yousuf, a bouncer at the Pulse Nightclub who had recently finished an enlistment in the Marine Corps, noticed a group of trapped patrons who were paralyzed with fear. Yousuf exposed himself to danger by rushing over to the aid of the huddled group, breaking open a door, and allowing more than 70 potential victims to flee the massacre and survive.

Imran Yousuf served as an Engineer Equipment Electrical Systems Technician in the Marine Corps from 2010-2016, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. Yousuf has only appeared at one other public event since the Orlando tragedy – the Houston Pride Parade where as a hero and ally of the LGBT community he was made an Honorary Grand Marshal. The AMPA West Coast Gala in San Diego will be the first military-themed event to honor the Marine Corps veteran for his actions.

After three years of growing attendance at the annual AMPA National Gala in Washington, DC, AMPA this year launched its inaugural West Coast Gala, which will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2016, at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina. In addition to Yousuf, AMPA previously announced that it will also honor nationally renowned LGBT military scholar and advocate Dr. Aaron Belkin, the founder and director of the Michael D. Palm Center, and Major General Trish Rose, the highest ranking openly LGBT service member in the United States military, as well as several local AMPA members and volunteers.

Tickets for the gala and more information can be found at www.MilitaryPartners.org/WestCoastGala.

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