Inspired by what can only be described as a nightmare, a young man bravely fought for his life one summer’s afternoon.
The soon to be 6th grader was abducted by a transit homeless man who brutally beat and sexually assaulted him. His family and community were stunned this had happened in such a small quaint town, only feet from his own front door. His two younger sisters were amongst the individuals who found him in an embankment fighting to climb to safety. Through his bravery, strength, and determination the young man was able to escape his abductor as well as providing police key information that led to the man’s arrest.
The Mineral City Warrior has proven to live up to his name as his courageous warrior spirit has brought national attention.
On November 6th, 2017, the Mineral City Warrior received a Proclamation from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. This Proclamation congratulated this young Warrior for receiving the Hero Award from, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on October 3rd, 2017 in Washington D.C. In addition to his award, The MC Warriors siblings received Hero Awards from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as they were amongst the individuals who found him. The Mineral City Warrior has also received awards such as The Models of Justice Courage Award, given by the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center as well as a purple heart.
Although this young man has endured more adversity than most do in a lifetime, he has chosen to transform his negative experience for the betterment of other children who experience similar crimes. The MC Warrior has begun a non-profit charity named, The MC Warrior Project.
Currently, The MC Warrior Project provides Warrior Support Bags to child sexual assault victims. The items in the Warrior Bags chosen by the Warrior and his siblings proved to be critical tools in helping them through their healing process. The Warrior Support Bags include Warrior Dog Tags that are in an engraved and Warrior Wooden Boxes that read, Be Strong, Be Brave, You Are a Warrior, a mantra that the MC Warrior and his family use to heal and move forward. The bags also include a Warrior t-shirt, a worry stone and a card that explains the MC Warrior’s experience in a child-friendly manner to convey to other children that they are not alone, as well as explaining they are now a Warrior too for surviving their experience. Additionally, MC Warrior bracelets are included as something that can be worn on a daily basis to show their solidarity that solidifies they are not just another victim, they are a Warrior.
By providing the Warrior Support Bags, children are not just given items, they are given reassurance of unification that the MC Warrior Project provides. Our goal is to counter a child’s experience with a supportive response in an effort to restore the child’s well-being. The MC Warrior can be quoted as stating, “I want to make a Warrior Army to help kids who may not have the support that I did”.
In the year and a half since The MC Warriors experience, he has already begun making his dream into a reality. The MC Warrior Project works with police departments, hospitals, and child advocacy centers to distribute these bags to families in their greatest time of need. The Project has already delivered Warrior Support Bags to children in multiple states, including families in Tuscarawas County. The Warrior Support Bags are given at no cost to the family. The feedback we have received has been the fuel that continues the MC Warrior’s mission to reach other child victims with love and support. The MC Warrior also hopes one day to have a center that is a safe place for child victims and their families to gather. Additionally, the MC Warrior is in the process of working with the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition to rebuild the hiking trail where he was attacked. He believes by rebuilding the area, it will provide a safe area for hikers to enjoy but to also aid in his healing process as well as give back to the community that continues to support him.
The non-profit has a pending 501(c)(3) that will aid in the vision of expanding the MC Warrior Project to provide, Medical, Legal and Transitional Advocacy to families that go through such a horrific experience. The MC Warrior’s image or name has never been released to protect his identity. However, his presence is evident through his determination to reach other child sexual assault victims through a victim perspective project. The main goal of this project is to provide support to the victim and their family through their greatest time of need. The MC Warrior Project will be the agency that provides trust, empathy, and support through all stages of such a tragedy. The MC Warrior can be quoted as stating, “Be Brave, Be Strong, You Are a Warrior”.
We encourage the community to continue their support of the young man and his efforts to reach others. Your extended support, encouragement, and recognition of this brave Warrior has been a humbling experience. Our gratitude is immeasurable.
The project is donation and volunteer driven.
For more information please visit, mcwarriorproject.com or like MC Warrior Project on Facebook.
(Article submitted by members of the MC Warrior Project).