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Maxim's Hometown Heroes



Illustration by Roberto Parada / Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014

Grandma Moose Mauler: Dorothea Taylor

Photo: Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News

You mess with the moose, you get the antlers. But sometimes if a moose messes with an elderly couple, it gets the shovel. Dorothea Taylor, who is 85 and weighs less than 100 pounds, used the tool to beat the bejesus out of an angry moose that tried to gore her 82-year-old husband in Anchorage, Alaska. The beast ran off, her husband escaped serious injury, and Dorothea earned the begrudging respect of Anchorage’s disturbed-moose population. 

Big Apple Badass: Jim Denniston 
On his first day on the job after returning from a three-month overseas mission tending to wounded soldiers in Afghanistan—where his unit was credited with saving over 100 lives — this N.Y.C. firefighter saved a woman and three children from a burning building. We heard that even the firehouse Dalmatian was impressed. 

Marathon Man: Carlos Arredondo

Photo: Boston Globe/ Getty
 
It was one of the most iconic images of the Boston Marathon tragedy: the goateed, cowboy-hat-wearing Arredondo helping treat and transport Jeff Bauman, who had lost both his legs in the bombing. (It’s a badass bonus that Arre­dondo’s a dead ringer for Kenny Powers.)
 
When a fire broke out in a neighbor’s apartment last fall, this sticky-fingered Bronx resident arrived at the scene and sure-handedly caught an infant and a toddler whose grandmother tossed them from a second-floor balcony. Is it too late for the Giants to sign him up? They could really use a solid receiver.
 
The Bulletproof Cop: Brian Murphy
Fifteen rounds weren’t enough to take out Lt. Murphy when he responded to a shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in 2012. Two of those bullets remain permanent reminders of the horrors of that day, and the injuries he sustained ultimately forced Murphy into retirement this year. Fifteen shots? We’d say retirement is well-deserved.
 
Man of the Mat: Anthony Robles 

Photo: Hunter Martin / Getty
 
Who says you need two legs to kick ass? Despite being born with only one, Robles won the NCAA 125-pound wrestling championship for ASU in 2011 before becoming a motivational speaker. Now he’s hinted that he might try out for the 2016 Olympics. He could also compete in the Paralympics, but that just wouldn’t be fair. 

Pusher Man: Chris Ihle
This 38-year-old father from Ames, Iowa spotted a stalled car on a railroad track with an elderly couple inside, struggling to start it. As the train barreled toward them, Ihle pushed it off the track just in time. Turns out Superman isn’t the only one faster than a speeding locomotive.
 
Northern Exposure: Toby Burke
What’s the best way to fight off a raging brown bear? Well, if you’re this Alaskan biologist, you ram your telescope into the bear’s mouth, and when it snaps in two, use the sharp end to stab it in the face and then punch it in the nose. The bear ran off, and Burke went back to his bird watching. 
 
An Interview With Army Staff Sgt. Ty Carter
by Adam Linehan
The recent Medal of Honor winner on what it takes to be a real American hero. 

Photo: Reuters / Carlo Allegri / Landov
 
You won the Medal of Honor for your actions at the Battle of Kamdesh. What was it like there?
There would be firefights every other day, but we were relatively at ease. Still doing patrols, still getting shot at, but in a good position. 

What were you doing the day the attack began? 
I was sleeping. I started putting on my socks and boots and throwing my body armor on, and a sergeant says we need someone to man the machine gun. I said, “I got it.” I grabbed ammo and went out at a running start. 
 
At some point in the battle, you were wounded, right?
There were five of us inside the guard position, which was an up-armored Humvee. An RPG sprayed the inside of the vehicle with shrapnel. I got a concussion and hearing loss in my left ear.
 
Your citation states that you risked your life to aid a wounded comrade…
SPC Stephan Mace was crawling back to the vehicle, and I was given permission to get to him. I carried him to the vehicle after giving him first aid. That’s when the first bombs started hitting. We got Mace on a litter and raced straight through the open, stepping over enemy bodies.
 
What was going through your head?
When good men are dying all around you, you have to start considering how you’re going to die yourself. I told myself that if I run out of ammo, I still got my hands. I thought, If these are my last moments, how am I going to live them?
 
What was it like to be presented the Medal of Honor by the president?
Wow. When I was up onstage, I couldn’t really enjoy it. Then I started looking out into the crowd. The pride and the joy and the emotion that I saw made everything, all the nervousness, worthwhile. 
 
Now you’re on a new mission to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Part of the problem is people continue to call it post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s not a disorder. It’s an instinct, a reflex of the body and mind. If we remove the “D” and get rid of the stig­ma, we’ll start saving lives.

 
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