There are 13 more heroes in Chicago's collar communities. None of them is named Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber. Still, they are young. They are impressive.
These 13 young men, ages 11 to 14, were put to the test and they passed. They are Boy Souts. They were prepared. They are most certainly heroes.
It wasn't long ago when an Evanston man was riding his bike along a path in Palos. Out of his element, Andy Matthews, accidentally hit a large rock—with his face.
In shock, Matthews struggled to get to safety. He came upon the New Lenox Boy Scout Troop 44 on a hike. The boys noticed Matthews swerving on his bike, disoriented. They asked if he was OK. After the man answered no, the boys noticed his eye was swolen shut. His shirt was torn, and he was bleeding from the nose and mouth.
Just then, the boys sprung into action. Out came the ice packs and the first aid kit. They helped him sit down, then eventually guided him out to get medical assistance.
"They boys were great," Matthews said. "They were well prepared."
Matthews ended up having 3 plates and 24 screws put in his face. He is expected to have more surgeries still. Even worse than the injuries, though, Matthews said was the shock. Without the boys, he wouldn't have known what to do.
The heroes are named Ken Clarke, Nathan Creech, Kevin Dexheimer, Jake Durkus, T.J. Duraka, Nick Hill, Will Lester, Michael Malloy, Michael McBride, Bobby Pilipchuck, Anthony Rios, Nick Ruskowsky, and Austin Willis.
As parents, it can be challenging to guide our children to selecting true heroes as role models. After all, we never know when our favorite athletes, for example, will turn out to be O.J. Simpson or Michael Vick.
Here are 13 young men who not only talked the talk of the Boy Scout motto. They also walked the walk. When it came time for them to truly step up, they each met the challenge.
In a society where headlines are filled with drugs, violence and hatred, we must celebrate our successes.
It is about character. These young men, thanks to their leaders and parents, have it. I hope my children grow up to be just like them.