A Cleveland-based National Service Officer received the Distinguished Citizen Medal from the city of Golden, Colo., in January for heroic actions performed the prior summer at nearby Clear Creek Canyon.
NSO Jacob Drost was in Colorado to attend DAV’s 2015 National Convention in Denver last August and had extended his stay on vacation. He was panning for gold in the canyon when a young woman in obvious distress ran into the water, slipped and hit her head on a rock. She lost consciousness as the fast-moving current began to propel her downstream. A former Marine combat water survival instructor, Drost reacted immediately and entered the current to pull the woman to safety.
“I’m glad I had the skills to help in the situation,” said Drost. “But to be honest, I didn’t do anything someone else wouldn’t have done who might have been standing in that spot at the time.” ‘
After Drost pulled the woman to safety, the local police and fire department took over.
“I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” Drost said. “I just did what I was trained to do. Then a few weeks later, I got a letter saying they wanted to give me some kind of award. I’m grateful but don’t think I did anything especially heroic.”
“I’m not surprised Jacob is humble about what he did that day,” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Veterans don’t live their lives looking for rewards. They often continue their legacy of serving others. Jacob prevented a tragedy. I’m glad he was there, and I’m sure the woman’s loved ones are as well.”