"The best ever..."

I want to commend you for the splendid story on the Ahuna family, presented so vividly in the October 2005 issue. It was indeed most inspirational, and I can truthfully say the best I have ever read—and I have read a lot of material about Scouting. I'm an Eagle Scout (1930) and a 75-year veteran.

P. K. Hurlbut
Committee Member, Troop 231
Midland, Tex.

The feature on veteran Scouters Joe and Janice Ahuna and their Scouting family's dedication to the art of Polynesian and Native American dancing was the latest in Scouting magazine's award-winning "A Family Together" series. To read about other fascinating Scouting families in the series back to 1998, go to www.scoutingmagazine.org, click on "Search" and then on "Family Together Series."

Troop 4137's assistant Scoutmaster Joseph A. Mathos and Eagle Scout Bryan Murphy received the BSA Medal of Merit for coming to the aid of victims of a highway automobile accident.
Photograph By John Long Sr.

Troop has two heroes

After reading about the five Scouts from the Westark Area Council's Butterfield Trail District who received BSA lifesaving or meritorious action awards in 2004 [see "Five Heroes From One District" in the October 2005 News Briefs], I was inspired to share some news about two heroes from our troop.

Last October, the BSA Medal of Merit (awarded for an outstanding act of rare or exceptional character reflecting an uncommon degree of concern for the well-being of others) was presented to Eagle Scout Bryan Murphy and assistant Scoutmaster Joseph A. Mathos. They were honored for their actions in August 2004, when they helped a woman get her mother out of a car that had rolled over following a highway collision.

John Long Sr.
Scoutmaster, Troop 4137
Ukrainian National Home
Millville, N.J.

Lifesaving and meritorious action awards are presented by the BSA National Court of Honor, based on the type of action and degree of danger involved. In 2004, 306 Scouts or Scouters were honored for heroic actions. For a history of the award and profiles of some outstanding recipients, see "Scouting's Medals of Valor" in the September 1997 issue, available online at www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/9709/a-honr.html.

St. Croix not oldest settlement

The article "Meeting at Moosehorn" in the September 2005 issue stated that St. Croix Island, located on the St. Croix River between Canada and the United States, was the site in 1604 of "the first permanent European settlement in North America."

However, on that date, St. Augustine, Fla., founded in 1565, was already 39 years old.

Daniel Fisher
Unit Commissioner
Palm Bay, Fla.

Thank you for the correction. Not as old as St. Augustine or some even older sites in the southwestern United States and Mexico, the St. Croix island settlement is more accurately described on the National Park Service Web site (www.nps.gov/sacr) as "one of the earliest European settlements on the North Atlantic coast of North America" and is preserved today as an International Historic Site "as a monument to the beginning of the United States and Canada."

Scout motto more than just words

Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, I received the note below from Dr. Mike Kiernan, an assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 230, Metairie, La., where I was an assistant Scoutmaster prior to moving to Houston. It represents what Scouting is all about:

As you may have heard, I had to step into the role of chief medical officer and directed the rescue efforts at Tulane Medical Center along with 11 other members of our command team.

[My son] Patrick...helped [my wife] Ashley evacuate our family and was a huge help to me during the crisis. He got the message about the levee break to us at the command center...[which] enabled us to save our ER, central supply, and other first-floor facilities by moving them up in time.

The sporadic calls I had with him were the single best source of outside info we had [in order] to know what was going on and to judge how to respond....I was able to focus on my job knowing he was there to watch over Ashley and [our daughter] Elizabeth during their evacuation.

Also, I would like to share with all the Scouts and Scouters that I personally used every single BSA skill I ever learned or taught during this crisis.

I drew maps, determined latitude and longitude for the helicopters, used my compass to orient our landing field, taught people how to tie knots and lashes to secure patients to stretchers, taught chair and stretcher carries, and even erected the pole holding our wind sock.

I showed two doctors how to paddle a canoe. I used first aid. I showed people how to make a bedroll out of sheets and blankets and a protective suit out of garbage bags for wading through water.

...Many of the people assisting me said they, too, had learned their survival skills through Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting....I saw firsthand in a desperate situation the importance of the Scout motto, Scout Oath and Law....[The] Scouters involved were able to save nearly 2,000 lives in and around the Tulane and Charity medical centers.

It is my fervent hope that all our Scouts take these words even more seriously now. Be Prepared! You never know when Scout skills and attitude will be needed....

—Dr. Mike Kiernan, Troop 230

Duncan Blue
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 202
Houston, Tex.

How to get Csatari painting

Is there a way to purchase a copy of Joseph Csatari's 2005 BSA illustration, 75th Anniversary of Cub Scouting, as shown in the September 2005 issue of Scouting?

Juan Carlos Cabestro
Euless, Tex.

Joseph Csatari's painting is available as an 18-by-24-inch poster for $8.95, plus applicable taxes, from www.scoutstuff.org. Click on "Gifts" and then on "Prints & Posters." Or stop by your local Scouting retailer or Scout shop (locations available on www.scoutstuff.org). You can also order by credit card from the BSA National Distribution Center, 2109 Westinghouse Blvd., P.O. Box 7143, Charlotte, NC 28241-7143, fax (704) 588-5822, or phone (800) 323-0736.

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Copyright © 2006 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.