Not Too Young to Be a Hero

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Ten-year-old William Wyatt Kunert of Cheyenne, Wyo., didn't hesitate when a dog attacked him and his 2-year-old brother, Jordan Martinez.

The brothers were on their own front porch when a neighbor's pit bull managed to jump over the fence around its yard and charged the boys. The fence in question was 4 feet high, but the animal still managed to get over it.

Kunert, who has been attacked by dogs in the past, got Jordan into the house and tried to slam the door against the pit bull. But the dog got there too fast for that, and clamped onto Kunert's leg for long, painful minutes. The bite left severe injuries that required multiple surgeries to repair.

According to William's mother, the dog would probably have killed Jordan if it had gotten a hold of him instead of the older boy, given the severity of William's injuries.

Kunert said he knew the dog was going to bite him if he got Jordan out of the way, but he did it anyway, even though he has scars on his face from an equally painful bite in the past.

Kunert's brave actions have been rewarded, however. The American Medical Response Team gave the young hero their Everyday Heroes award in honor of his courage.

A representative of the AMRT said that courage is more about acting despite fear than about not having it, and said that Kunert's actions are an example of everything Emergency Responders stand for. Officials praised his actions, calling him a "hero among heroes" at the ceremony. Kunert is the first recipient of the new award, making the occasion all the more special to him and his family.

For his part, Kunert has recovered well from his injuries. He is able to play normally, without any serious, lasting damage from the attack.

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