SEPTEMBER 2002 FOR ALL BOYS

MORE 9/11 "SCOUTS IN ACTION"

"A True Story of Scouts in Action" in the September 2001 issue of Boys' Life tells of the heroic actions of two young men. They received medals from the Boy Scouts of America National Court of Honor.

The following Scouters also answered the call of duty on 9/11, and were recognized by the Court of Honor:

Police Officer John McLoughlin, 48—assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 63, Goshen, N.Y.—was working at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City when word came that an airliner had crashed into the World Trade Center. He gathered a team of volunteers onto a bus, and rushed to the crash site to help get people out. When the first tower collapsed, debris killed two team members. A third died when the second tower collapsed. Debris trapped McLoughlin and one remaining team member. Rescuers did not reach McLoughlin until the next day. He was hospitalized for months. McLoughlin received the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms, Scouting's highest award for heroism.

Air Force Major James Cusic and Chief Master Sergeant Rick Arnold, both 41, were working in the Pentagon, near Washington, D.C., when a hijacked airliner crashed into it. Arnold rushed to help evacuate the wounded while Cusic set up a triage area outside. Later, when a general called for volunteers to enter the building and search for survivors, both men came forward and led teams, facing a furnace of flames and toxic fumes. Although no survivors were found, they cared for several injured firefighters. Both men worked throughout the day and night. They each received the Honor Medal with Cross Palms. Arnold is a committee member of Troop 94, Yorktown, Va. Cusic is an assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 94, O'Fallon, Ill.

Also at the Pentagon, the following Scouters, all of Alexandria, Va., Troop 1107, responded heroically: U.S. Navy Capt. William J. Toti, 46, was awarded an Honor Medal. Harry T. Chelpon, 42, and Thomas L. Waddell, 46, both civilian employees at the Pentagon, received a Heroism Award. Waddell is Scoutmaster. Toti and Chelpon are assistant Scoutmasters.

'Dell Dude' Does His Part

You might know Eagle Scout Ben Curtis. He's that "Dude, you're getting a Dell" guy on the TV commercials. On Sept. 11, 2001, the 21-year-old from Chattanooga, Tenn., found himself in the midst of a crisis.

He was sleeping in his Lower Manhattan apartment when an airliner hit the first World Trade Center tower. His roommate, a photographer, ran to the disaster scene a few blocks away, but Ben went back to sleep, thinking the noise was a gas explosion. When the second tower was struck, he got up and looked out the window. Seeing the fire, he decided his roommate might need help.

When the first tower collapsed, Ben rushed into the subway entrance nearby to escape the flying debris. Clouds of soot poured down into the tunnel. He took his shirt off and tied it around his face to breathe.

A woman came down the stairs with a severe gash on her head. "At first I was completely freaked out," he said, "but then my Scout training came back to me." He used his shirt as a pressure bandage and helped the woman to safety.

They Pitched In

Troop 414 of Manhattan planned a camping trip in September 2001. But the attack on the World Trade Center changed all that.

Instead, the Scouts went to work gathering supplies for the family services center set up in the troop's neighborhood.

Officials told the boys exactly what was needed: paper towels one day, garbage bags another. The boys set up a table on a corner collecting donations, then wheeled the products in borrowed grocery carts to the armory.

The city's Emergency Management Office said the Scouts made an important contribution to the recovery effort. "I felt very happy that we could help," said Tenderfoot Scout Dino Tonog, 13.


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