Honoring these young men in a Court of Honor and sharing some thoughts about their accomplishments is more than just some occasion here in M-T.
It is a rite.
“cause as a Tiger or Cub Scout, setting your sights on earning the rank of Eagle is this community’s standard of excellence.
Bonded together as they rose through the ranks in scouting, competed as student-athletes and became friends, Thomas, Connor and Jack have always conducted themselves with the highest intention.
Their genuine leadership and unwavering character has cast a lasting and positive impression on our community.
And when it came time to negotiate the challenges inherent in completing an Eagle project, these young men learned to become equal parts salesmen, supply chain specialists, foremen, accountants, mentors, engineer and visionaries.
Knowing a little about the scope of their projects, I believe they now have a keen appreciation of the value of acquiring this skill set.
For it was no small undertaking.
Thomas – a junior at Homestead – led 13 volunteers in a total of 82 service hours in a flag etiquette campaign, as well as the construction of an American flag collection box for retired flags in support of American Legion Post 457.
Connor – a senior at Homestead – led 13 volunteers through 79 hours of service helping the Mission Fraternity of Mary collect sleeping bags, tents and solar-powered lanterns so they might continue the popular Exodus Youth Formation program .
And Jack – a senior at Homestead – led 10 volunteers in 101 service hours to build new wooden benches surrounding the flag pole at Lumen Christi. These benches have enhanced the safety and aesthetics of this church.
Now after reading a little about their Scouting experience with Troop 815 – and knowing Connor and Jack are about to pursue a course of study in engineering at UW Platteville – I thought the three amigos would have designed and built a dome for summer camp – or – learned to embrace a life aquatic.
But Thomas, Connor and Jack each identified an unmet need in the community, choosing to embark on a service project as uniquely individual as they are.
And whether they realize it or not, it seems that the choices they made shed a light on what they hold dear. That one thing that resides in their heart.
Honoring the flag; and all those that have or will serve.
Provisions for an “exodus”; supporting the formation of faith.
A venue of honor and reflection; the foundation for inspiration.
In a world dominated by twitter, consumed with selfies, and a tendency towards narcissism, these three have avoided those afflictions and forged their own paths.
A task that I am sure has not been easy.
And though these projects may seem to be narrow in scope and small in expanse their endeavors will forever outlast each and every fad of the moment. Their accomplishments will never need a thousand likes for validation.
But I sense that is ok with them.
Because they know that really isn’t what leadership or character is about.
And Thomas, Connor and Jack are built for much bigger things.
The initiated may not recognize their contribution nor appreciate their efforts.
For each in their own way have helped connect generations, bridge backgrounds and created opportunities for all those that follow.
Meaningful projects that brought many together, united, “as one” in effort, all working towards the common good.
No small undertaking.
But a responsibility they long to embrace in a role they truly cherish.
Perhaps it seems like our community only produces an abundance of state or national – champion scholar-athletes, NFL’ers, musicians, artists and movie writers.
But year in and year out, we also turn out young men like Thomas, Connor and Jack.
The select few that we can always count on.
The ones to forever honor their oath.
The ones that will be at their best when things are their worst.
The ones to lead us here at home, out in the world, or even to the moon.
They will never get the press they deserve.
But being the men they are, it was never about the accolades.
They are perfectly content to do what they do.
And very well I might add.
Our best kept secret.