Boston College junior Mark Kindschuh, who risked his life to save that of a stranger in desperate need of medical attention following the London terror attacks in June, has received the highest honor awarded exclusively to Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets: the Medal of Heroism.
The award was presented to Kindschuh during the BC-North Carolina football game on Veterans Day, by Maj. Gen. Chris Hughes, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command and Fort Knox.
Kindschuh was studying abroad on June 3, when the terror attack on London Bridge that killed seven occurred. While enjoying a dinner of fish and chips, Kindschuh and his friends heard gunshots outside. Moments later, Kindschuh noticed a man bleeding from his head and immediately rushed outside to help the injured bystander, using his belt in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
A political science major in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, the Bay Ridge, N.Y. native was nominated for the award by Senator Chuck Schumer (D- N.Y.) and Congressman Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.).
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want to congratulate ROTC Cadet Mark Kindschuh for being awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism,” said Schumer in a press release. During the tragic London attack, he showed "immense heroism by running towards the danger, not away from it, to save the life of a complete stranger, and because of his actions, that man is alive today. I am proud to have recommended ROTC Cadet Mark Kindschuh for this award and look forward to his future successes in the military.”
“This young man's heroics made his city and country proud," added Donovan. "Mark's quick and decisive action saved a stranger's life, and it's that kind of selfless courage that makes our armed forces the greatest in the world. I look forward to following what will surely be a bright and impactful career in military service for Mark.”
Kindschuh’s father also expressed pride in his son's response to the situation, speaking in media interviews after the after the incident made international headlines.
“It went from lifesaving to life-sacrificing,” said Dr. Kindschuh, director of Coney Island Hospital’s Emergency Department. “When he made the decision [to help] – that is a different category of exceptional. He stayed with him and didn’t think of anything of himself. I’ve never been prouder in my entire life,” said Dr. Kindschuh.
While Kindschuh exemplifies BC's Jesuit mission of educating men and women for others, he also credits the ROTC for shaping his ability to step in when needed.
“I think when you put on any uniform for the services, there is an inherent set of values underlying it,” said Kindschuh in an interview with the U.S. Army. “I think once you have that in the back of your head and it becomes a part of your character, if you are in a situation like that and don’t do anything, you are contradicting those values.
“It’s like when you say the Soldier’s Creed—it can just be words, but if you take action on it, that’s when you’re really putting it to its purpose.”