The Timothy “Doc” Cook Foundation’s Scholarship Awards ceremony was conducted on Saturday afternoon. The gathering took place on Dorchester Heights in brilliant sunshine, cool early June weather, and at the top of the City of Boston’s highest natural elevation. It was a perfect day to salute the memory of an outstanding American military man – a man who volunteered for the Marines and served on combat duty in Iraq as a Medical Corpsman. And of course, those attending the Awards took COVID-19 precautions, especially face coverage and social distancing.
The Cook Awards are actually educational scholarships. Led by Joe Cook (Tim’s father), they were presented to 12 deserving young scholars last weekend, which is a commendable increase from the three or four scholarships when these Awards started. Since their beginning, the Cook Awards have presented a total of $65,000 in scholarships to local students – the Timothy “Doc” Cook Foundation is dedicated to educating our youth and increasing awareness of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) within our community and abroad.
A short story will show what kind of a hero Tim was: As a Corpsman, he brought immediate medical care to wounded soldiers on the battlefield, under actual, all-too-real, combat conditions. This was back when the High Mobility Military Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs – first called “Hum-Vees” , and then “Hummers” later) were used as ambulances. The HMMWVs were better than jeeps, but still limited to holding only a few stretchers for the wounded.
“Doc” conceived of armoring a larger military truck, which could hold six stretchers along with medical personnel. He got this done on the battlegrounds in Iraq, creating a vehicle that was later nicknamed “The Aramdillo”. He never got credit for his invention, and sadly, “Doc” is no longer with us. He succumbed to combat-related complications, including PTSD, after returning from Iraq.
His father, Joe Cook, set up his Foundation in “Doc’s” memory. In last Saturday’s ceremony, Joe spoke eloquently of his son in terms of Tim’s many local activities – ice hockey, robotics at Paraclete, and summers helping underprivileged kids in East Boston camps. City Councilor Ed Flynn and State Rep. David Biele offered congratulations.
The 2020 Cook Foundation Scholarship Awardees are Garrett Smith, Tommy Flaherty, Lia Blythe, Vasya Mantrov, Adam Alto, Michael Callow, Jane Matthews, John Maddox, Greg Matthews, Ronan Manning, Jack Matthews, and Macdara Casper. South Boston Online congratulates you on your well-deserved scholarships from the Timothy “Doc” Cook Foundation.