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I can't find it now, but I believe I posted a story last December about a local 11-year old Boy Scout.  On November 11 he was a passenger in his mom’s Prius, traveling at speed along a curving two-lane road in an unincorporated area.  Speed limit on this road is, I believe, 50 MPH.  Simple math, this gives a closing speed with oncoming traffic of 100 MPH, plus or minus.  Often plus.

 

Suddenly, his mom had a severe seizure, causing her to run through a signal and sideswipe another car.

 

Amazingly, the tiny little guy (all of 4' 5" tall) managed to reach the steering wheel, and guided the vehicle through traffic, successfully avoiding more collisions with other cars.  Eventually, he was able to steer the vehicle off the road, where his mom recovered sufficiently to stop and shut it down.

 

More remarkably, while steering with his left hand, he was dialing 9-1-1 with his right.  When stopped, he was able to direct first responders to their location.

 

A while later, while he was sitting with him mom in the back of the ambulance shivering from cold and shock, a paramedic wrapped him warmly and told him "Son... you keep this... this is your 'Hero Blanket'."

 

When I heard of the incident I set out to interview the youngster, his mom, and his grand-dad.  Then I followed up with discussions with the responding officer, her sergeant, and their lieutenant.  I then contacted the County Supervisor’s office for that district and shared the story.

 

To shorten the story, at the December Board of Supervisors meeting, the youngster was given awards by both the County and the California Highway Patrol.  It was a really cool ceremony, and among other nice things said was the CHP representatives statement that the young man’s actions had undoubtedly prevented serious crashes and loss of life.

 

Naturally, since he was a Boy Scout (by all of three months), I submitted a nomination for a National-level BSA award  through the local Council office.  (Boy, was THAT a pile of work!)

 

Anyway, after about three months with no feedback, I asked and was told that it had been rejected by the BSA national office.  When I asked why it was rejected (and why nobody had seen fit to advise me), no one would - or could - tell me.  In fact, I was pretty harshly chastised for daring to question the rejection.

 

But, me being me, I continued to press the issue and was eventually told that the "rejection" would be appealed.  Ultimately, I was advised that the appeal was rejected and was told that in lieu of a National medal, a Council level award would be presented instead (probably a Council Certificate of Merit).  All this was verbal; never was any documentation offered up.

 

So Yesterday, the September edition of Scout Life Magazine arrived.  With a distribution of well over a million copies, this is the monthly , national BSA magazine, the modern version of the Boy’s Life Magazine we grew up with.

 

One of the featured articles every month is a short, graphic-illustrated article called “Scouts In Action,” which features a Scout doing something remarkable, often something life-saving.

 

Imagine my absolute surprise to discover that the September entry featured none other than our own young Scout.  And further, that it proclaimed that he had been awarded the Medal of Merit.

 

I’m proud of the kid… but I'm thinking it might be getting’ close to time for me to retire.  

 

 

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Very well done!

I spent seven years in Scouts with my son. I thought I was just an adult along for the ride and went on all the campouts, provided my property for use, etc. But then one Father's Day I got two cards in the mail -from two of our boys, wishing me a happy Father's Day. To say I was touched would be an understatement. I guess you don't ever really know when you are impacting someone's life. 

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