Many areas in the US are experiencing meteorological extremes at present, so to vaguely allude to one in particular without getting specific would not be especially illuminating. Neither a region without a phenomenon, nor the reverse, would quite convey what was meant: such is the level of intensity being experienced.
So to be clear when saying that an act of heroism was committed, that just a drop was placed in the bucket of need, it was flooding that occurred in this specific instance, and it was the region of Columbia, Missouri that recently saw many local people in dire need.
While there are, as Mr. Rogers said, always helpers, there can often be too few to go around. So it is deeply heartening that when a woman there was imperiled by rising waters from the flood, help was at hand from perhaps that most cliched of sources: the Boy Scouts.
Per Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Jenkins, a woman had entered the rainstorm-fueled flood waters in the area of a local park with likely intent to go swimming. The woman then unfortunately succumbed to leg cramps and begin to drown. She had been able to get hold of a basketball hoop, but it was almost entirely underwater by that point and her situation was dire.
A small group gathered nearby, but with conditions deteriorating they held back for probable fear of exacerbating the situation with their own presence in the water. It requires, after all, not merely the desire to do good, but also the knowledge and the wherewithal to make good on that desire. But should it have fallen to first responders to come to the woman’s aid, that aid might have come too late.
At the same time, Boy Scouts Joseph Diener and Dominic Viet, 16 and 15 respectively, were out investigating the damage caused by the rainfall in their neighborhood. They and friends were on their bikes when they began to hear cries for help. Unsure initially whether there was indeed an emergency, they ultimately came near enough after hearing her multiple times to see as well.
The pair wasted little time assessing the woman’s need for assistance and their ability to safely and effectively supply it before deciding to go in. In spite of the intensity of the floodwaters threatening to pull them under, the boys were able to reach the woman and get her onto their shoulders. With her in tow, they were able to doggy paddle to the shore where additional help could be found.
The woman made it out of the water having suffered little harm beyond the cramps and vomiting water she had swallowed in her struggles. Jenkins, in confirming the account given by the boys, reported that the woman was expected to be all right, thanks to their deeply heroic and speedy actions.
As proof of their selflessness, Diener and Viet had stood to gain nothing in pursuit of the Eagle Scout rank, one level above theirs at the time. Neither required such experience for their upcoming Eagle projects, but had risked their own safety out of concern for the woman’s wellbeing. The boys’ scoutmaster, however- Morgan Daily- told local reporters they might yet get the honor of special badges. And their community most certainly gets the honor of Diener and Viet being two of their own.