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Good scout. (The Goodness of America).

The Honor Medal with Crossed Palms is Scouting's highest award for heroism. The latest youth to receive it is 17-year-old Kurt Pfeifer of Baldwin, Missouri.

On the morning of March 2,2002, Kurt, along with his parents, began a trip to see his sister Lindsay's induction into the National Honor Society at Southwest Missouri State University. The weather soon changed from rain to sleet and snow. And as they reached the crest of a hill about 16 miles past Fort Leonard Wood, Mr. Pfeifer saw that a tractor-trailer had jackknifed to avoid a collision. He pulled over and stopped, but the tractor-trailer behind them could not, so slid into the jackknifed rig. More than 30 other vehicles became involved in the pile-up. Luckily there were no fatalities, and only 10 persons were injured.

When Kurt thought he saw a child thrown from a vehicle (it was actually a dog), he got out of the family car and climbed back up the hill to warn oncoming traffic. He removed his jacket and waved it frantically, causing several other drivers to slow down and avoid slamming into the wreckage. But then, another tractor-trailer went out of control and struck the youth. A rail on the corner of the truck tore a fist-sized hole in his leg.

Kurt, assisted by his dad, made it back to their car, where his mom wrapped a scarf around the wound to stem the bleeding during the two hours it took to reach a hospital. Kurt underwent surgery a month later to repair ligaments and have two screws inserted into a leg bone. He then spent three months on crutches or in a wheelchair.

Kurt, who earned the rank of Eagle Scout at age 14, received the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms during the St. Louis Area Boy Scout Council's annual recognition dinner on May 26th. "I'm overwhelmed," he had exclaimed upon learning of the honor a few days earlier. "I never really expected something like this to go this far."

His sister Lindsay told the May 26th St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "The skills he learned in Boy Scouts plus his instinct to help people caused that [warning to drivers] to be a natural reaction.... I'm proud of him.
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Title Annotation:Honor Medal with Crossed Palms
Author:Lee, Robert W.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 14, 2003
Words:371
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