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Student Awarded Prestigious Air Force JROTC Silver Valor Medal for Heroic Efforts to Save a Child

Amid devastating flash flooding on July 26, 2022, University City High School sophomore John Trotter did not hesitate when he heard a cry for help across the street from his home.

Trotter crossed rushing water to get to his neighbor’s house. Once there, he discovered a family in panic. A five-year-old was trapped in a rapidly flooding basement. Trotter, a member of the UCHS Air Force JROTC, put his training to work. He looked for the heaviest, most solid object he could find - a cast iron skillet. He and another neighbor used the skillet to hack a hole through the floor. It worked! An arriving University City rescue team from the fire department extracted the child who was struggling to stay above water. The child was rescued without injury.

Trotter’s actions did not go unnoticed. On November 11, 2022, Trotter was surprised with the prestigious Air Force JROTC Silver Valor Award medal, one of just a handful awarded nationwide. He was awarded the medal at the start of the high school’s JROTC annual Veterans Day ceremony in the auditorium. It is believed this was the first time a UCHS student was awarded the medal.

UCHS officer Col. Robert Jakcsy wrote in his nomination, “Cadet John Trotter exemplifies the best traditions and ideals of Service Before Self and clearly deserves the Air Force Silver Valor Award.”

News Channel 5 was there to capture the event in the broadcast posted at the top of this story. Congratulations, John, on your courage and service!