1010 WINS– On the same day 8-year-old Girl Scout Melina Lakey and her Brownie troop learned basic safety and completed a service project to benefit their local Fire Department, her family was involved in a serious car accident.

Her mother, Ashley McCollum said “Melina risked being cut on glass or injured by car debris,” in an official statement. Ashley, who was bleeding and disoriented, says her daughter kept her composure and helped her get safely out of the overturned car.

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“She wasn’t concerned about hurting herself, she was getting me out of the car.”

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On Thursday (9/21) Melina, now a Girl Scout Junior, was presented with the Girl Scouts of America’s Medal of Honor, a national award given for saving a life or attempting to save a life. On hand for the ceremony were her troop and family members, Anderson, IN Mayor Thomas Broderick, Alexandria Fire Chief Brian Cuneo, and Girl Scouts of Central Indiana CEO Deborah Hearn Smith.

Credit: Girl Scouts of Central Indiana

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo wrote a congratulatory letter to Lakey that said in part, “Your extraordinary courage, incredible confidence, and your willingness to take decisive action in the midst of an emergency has not only saved a life, but also serves as a shining example for Girl Scouts everywhere of fortitude and dedication. Your heroism and sound judgment have earned you a place in the pantheon of heroes who have come before you, and left an indelible mark on the Girl Scouts.”

Although Melina’s Girl Scout uniform will eventually be boxed away, that’s one merit badge she’ll be wearing her entire life.

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-Joe Cingrana