University town student honored for July flood rescue

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — University City High School honored a student Friday after saving a child during historic July flooding.

John Trotter is a cadet and sophomore in high school, and he was honored with a big surprise at the high school’s Veterans Day ceremony on Friday. He was awarded the JROTC Air Force Silver Valor Medal, which is awarded to a cadet for an act of willful heroism that does not meet life risk requirements.

In July, Trotter ran to help his neighbor when his five-year-old was trapped in their basement by rising floodwaters. Trotter grabbed a cast iron skillet and used it as an ax to open a hole in the floor. This gave the child enough space and air to survive until the college town fire department could complete the rescue.

According to his award nomination, “Cadet Trotter’s bravery in the face of uncontrolled flooding was evidenced by the fact that while he was working to save the child, his mother’s car was swept down the street by the waters. Because of his remarkable and heroic actions, Cadet John Trotter exemplifies the finest traditions and ideals of service before self and is clearly deserving of the Air Force Silver Valor award.

School officials and Commandant Col. Robert Jakcsy joined Trotter as he accepted his award on Friday.