October 4, 2015 2:58 PM EDT

A White House petition posted Friday is calling on President Obama to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Chris Mintz, the Army veteran who has been hailed as a hero after trying to block the gunman and taking multiple bullets on Thursday’s mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

“Mr. Mintz positively displayed the values of loyalty, duty, respect, honor, integrity, personal courage, and self-sacrifice to attempt to save as many of his fellow citizens as possible,” wrote the creator of the post, identified only as “B.G.” from Dothan, Alabama, wrote. “I believe that awarding Mr. Mintz the Presidential Medal of Freedom will hold him up as a strong example to the rest of America that one person can make a difference.”

Mintz, a student at the college, blocked a doorway when shooter Christopher Harper Mercer attempted to enter a classroom and suffered multiple bullet wounds and broken legs. Mintz reportedly told the gunman it was his son’s birthday; Mercer continued to shoot him.

Mercer later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award within the United States and is awarded to individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Thus far, the petition has over 2,000 signatures but needs about 97,000 more to get the attention of the President.

Doctors say Mintz will survive but will likely have to re-learn how to walk.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Tanya Basu at tanya.basu@time.com.

You May Also Like