The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation will present its American Spirit Award to Jack Pape, a 17-year-old Boy Scout from Omaha, Nebraska. Pape, a junior in high school, will be recognized for his heroic efforts in 2008 and 2009 during a variety of ceremonies Friday, March 25. The American Spirit Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate extraordinary skill, professionalism, and a spirit of excellence in a challenging situation.
The award is given by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and the Society of America’s living Medal of Honor recipients. Pape will be recognized for helping to provide first aid to Scouts injured during the tornado that struck Little Sioux Scout Ranch in 2008 and for administering CPR to a young boy who had stopped breathing while at a hotel swimming pool in 2009.
“When I first heard about the American Spirit Award, I was really surprised to be nominated,” Pape said. “It seemed like kind of a big deal. I’m just a normal teenager. I was scared when I was faced with these situations but I didn’t think about it. I just did what needed to be done. There wasn’t really any other option.”
The Congressional Medal of Honor is in its 150th year of existence, and Boys’ Life magazine is celebrating its 100th year of turning “today’s readers into tomorrow’s leaders.” In observance of both anniversaries, it was decided to also name the recipient as the Boys’ Life 100th anniversary ambassador. In 2010, a national search was conducted, and four Scouts were selected as nominees for the American Spirit Award. An online vote at boyslife.org, combined with the evaluations from a judging panel, selected Jack Pape as the recipient.
“We are excited and honored to recognize Jack Pape with the American Spirit Award,” said Gen. Nick Kehoe, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. “Like so many of the youth in Boy Scouts of America, Jack truly embodies the values represented by the American Spirit Award and the Medal of Honor.”
“The millions of youth in our program do honor to the name of Scouting through their acts of service to others and through their leadership,” Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca said. “We applaud the courage and service above self shown by Jack Pape and are proud to join with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation in recognizing this achievement.“
Pape and his family, parents Anne and Jerry Pape, will participate in the National Medal of Honor Day activities on March 25 at Arlington National Cemetery, where he will receive the American Spirit Award. A special assembly is planned for Jack at Mount Michael High School on Tuesday, March 29, after his return home. In addition, Boys’ Life magazine will feature Pape in an upcoming issue, and he will serve as an ambassador for the youth-focused publication throughout the remainder of its 100-year anniversary celebration.
ABOUT THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA AND BOYS’ LIFE MAGAZINE
The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For 100 years, the award-winning Boys’ Life has chronicled Scouting’s commitment to give young Americans the tools, experiences, and knowledge they need to make the world a better place. Through an entertaining and educational variety of general-interest articles, fictional stories, and cartoons, the magazine has reinforced the importance of literacy and told the collective story of more than 100 million Scouts, many of whom have gone on to be national heroes, including sports stars, astronauts, and U.S. presidents. Today, Boys’ Life continues to prepare young people for life as it teaches them the importance of community, family, ambition, education, leadership, priority, and living a life bigger than themselves. http://boyslife.org/
ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR FOUNDATION
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, which was founded by the exclusive Society of living Medal of Honor recipients, is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to perpetuate the Medal of Honor’s legacy of courage, sacrifice, selfless service, and patriotism. The Foundation supports the objectives, activities, and outreach programs of the Society, and raises funds for initiatives such as Citizen Service Before Self Honors and the American Spirit Award that promote awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents. For more information, visit www.cmohfoundation.org . The Foundation presents the American Spirit Award to an individual or group that has exhibited extraordinary skill, professionalism, and a spirit of excellence in a challenging situation. For more information about the American Spirit Award, please visit http://citizenservicebeforeselfhonors.org.