For Americans there is no greater recognition of service, courage and leadership than our nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor. This year, in celebration of a century of turning “today’s readers into tomorrow’s leaders,” Boys’ Life will work with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and the exclusive Society of America’s living Medal of Honor recipients to give Americans the opportunity to help select a Scout to receive the Foundation’s American Spirit Award.
Presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, the American Spirit Award recognizes one or more individuals who demonstrate extraordinary skill, professionalism and a spirit of excellence in a challenging situation. Previous recipients include the Reserve Officer Training Corps programs of the military services and Chesley B. Sullenberger of “Miracle on the Hudson” fame.
“The values the Boy Scouts of America instills in young people represent those embodied in the Medal of Honor,” said Gen. Nick Kehoe, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. “We are excited to be working with Boy Scouts of America and Boys’ Life, which has served as the voice of Scouting, chronicled the movement’s achievements and helped prepare more than 100 million American youth across five generations for extraordinary lives.”
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor being signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. As part of the celebration of what the Medal of Honor represents, the Foundation invited the Boy Scouts to nominate an outstanding Scout for the prestigious American Spirit Award. In response, the editorial staff of Boys’ Life conducted a national search of Scouts and their achievements and selected four Scouts as potential recipients of the American Spirit Award. Boys’ Life readers and all Americans can visit http://boyslife.org/americanspiritaward/ to see details of each finalist’s accomplishments and vote on the Scout they believe most exemplifies the requirements of the award.
The four finalists are:
- TJ Ellwein, a resident of Davidsonville, Md., and member of the Baltimore Area Council who logged more than 400 hours leading the cleanup and beautification of Chaplain’s Hill at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Brad Garr, a resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., and member of the Grand Canyon Council who has received the William T. Hornaday Silver Medal for his conservation efforts and who has helped save a life on two separate occasions.
- Jacob Netzel, a resident of Fayetteville, N.C., and member of the Occoneechee Council who raised $40,000 and constructed a memorial for fallen members of the 3rd Special Forces Group.
- Jack Pape, a resident of Omaha, Neb., and member of the Mid-America Council who provided first aid to Scouts injured during the tornado at Little Sioux Scout Ranch in 2008 and who gave CPR to a boy pulled from a swimming pool in 2009.
Online voting for the nominees will be from January 5 through February 11 and will make up 50 percent of the evaluation process. A panel of Boys’ Life editors and members of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation also will evaluate nominees based on each entry’s alignment with the values of Scouting, Boys’ Life, and the American Spirit Award. The panel will announce the recipient in March 2011.
The recipient will be flown to Washington, D.C., to receive the American Spirit Award and participate in National Medal of Honor Day activities March 24-25, 2011. Also, the recipient will be featured in an issue of Boys’ Life and will serve as an ambassador for the magazine throughout the remainder of its 100-year anniversary celebration.
“For 150 years the Medal of Honor has given Americans extraordinary examples of courage, sacrifice and valor beyond the call of duty,” said Mike Goldman, editor, Boys’ Life. “Through creative methods — Boys’ Life has worked to teach our readers these same traits. We are honored to work with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and are proud to exhibit the accomplishments of these outstanding Scouts.”
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 non-profit 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.
ABOUT THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA AND BOYS’ LIFE
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/
Source: Boy Scouts of America