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The medal of honor

awarded to Boy Scout Michael Plesums

Many (many, many) years ago in my Boy Scout days, I had a booklet that described where different badges were to be displayed on the scout uniform. It started at the top - a Medal of Honor for saving a life at the risk of your own life, and worked down through various offices and ranks.

My father said, "Oh, I have one of those." "yeah, sure, dad" I replied under my breath. "Your English isn't perfect, you don't understand."

Medal of Honor citation

Long after he died, we found this document among his papers. Roughly translated it says "The Latvian Scouting Organization, on April 6, 1921, reviewed the documentation of how Latvian Scout Mikelis Plesums risked his life on March 1, 1921, to save someone from drowning in the Daugava river, and therefore was awarded the Medal of Honor Serial Number 1 on April 23, 1921.

Remember that March 1 of any year is still winter in Riga, so perhaps someone had broken through the ice.

We also found this picture - he is standing on the right - and notice the medal over his left pocket - same as it said in my manual for badges back in the 1950s.

Scoutmaster medal

We think the medal over his right pocket may be the scoutmaster medal above, or a predecessor. If this picture is from late 1921 he was 17 years old.

My father's Boy Scout days

In 2021 someone kindly sent a close-up picture and description of the medal. Unfortunately it is in Latvian.

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©2009 by Charles A. Plesums, Austin, Texas USA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If you would like to make or distribute copies of this document, or incorporate all or part in another web page or site, contact Charlie@Plesums.com