BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. - Blue Springs Police Officer Keegan Hughes is now on a short list after a long journey. Over nine days, he ran 260 miles across Missouri in honor of fallen first-responders.
"I ran 32 miles, and I said, 'How am I going to do eight more days?'" Hughes said of the start of his run in St. Louis in March.
What kept him going was knowing who he was supporting and the families who were waiting for him at the end of each day.
"The meetings and the time that we got to spend with them you can't that away it's priceless," he said.
Then, on the final day, he arrived at Kauffman Stadium, delivering the baseball for the first pitch to Independence Police Officer Thomas Wagstaff, who’d been on an incredible journey of his own, recovering from a gunshot to the head.
On Monday, Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross gave Hughes a Medal of Valor and Legion of Merit Award.
"I've been waiting for 10 years for someone I could recognize with that honor, and with what Keegan had done it was just an obvious choice," Ross said.
"It's only been given out one other time in the history of Blue Springs, and it's really reflective of the effort he took and determination he had," Blue Springs Police Chief Bob Muenz said.
Hughes will be one of 10 people ultimately named to the list over a 100-year period. Blue Springs City Administrator Eric Johnson previously received the award from former Mayor Gregory Grounds.