Honoring another young man today, Jacob Heilmann, is proof positive that a Court of Honor isn’t some rare occasion around these parts.
In fact, it has become this community’s customary rite.
“cause when you enter the ranks as a Tiger or Cub Scout, setting your sights on becoming an Eagle is our “normal”.
When it came time to negotiate the challenges in developing and completing his Eagle project, I will bet Jacob learned to become equal parts salesman, supply chain specialist, foreman, accountant, mentor and engineer.
And considering the scope of this project, I believe he now has a keen appreciation of the value of acquiring this skill set.
For this too was no small undertaking.
But for a visionary like Jacob, he has proved himself to be one who is built to put all the pieces together and make good things happen.
We are blessed to have access to some scenic waterways especially at Thiensville Park. And before Jacob came along, there weren’t any options for boaters in the event there were no life preservers.
Upon approval from his troop and the Village of Thiensville board, Jacob recruited twelve of his fellow scouts, along with some key adults and began to bring his vision to life.
After 101 service hours, they had a sanded, stained and installed life-preserver station. Donations in the form of preservers were solicited, accumulated and placed in the shed – for all to use for the coming boating season.
Jacob identified a need in the community, and chose to embark on a service project as uniquely individual as he.
And it seems that the choice he made shed some light on what he holds dear.
The value he places in the safety of others.
While we might occupy a world dominated by twitter, consumed with “selfies”, and narcissistic media outlets, young men like Jacob have the courage to forgo these societal afflictions and forge their own paths.
A journey, I am sure, which has been very challenging.
But in the end, his courage to pursue his vision in this singular endeavor will endure. Forever outlasting each new fad of the moment.
Jacob’s accomplishment will never need a thousand likes for validation.
And I bet that is just fine with him.
Because Jacob knows better.
He knows what leadership, character and courage is really all about.
And just like his three fellow Eagles that landed yesterday, Jacob is built for much bigger things.
Though the uninitiated may not recognize his contribution, appreciate his effort or share in his concern for the welfare of others, Jacob has maintained his focus.
His project has helped connect generations and bridge diverse backgrounds in a truly meaningful fashion.
A work aimed at promoting the common good.
Like I said, no small undertaking.
But given the nature of those that aspire to be an Eagle, this is a role he relishes and a responsibility Jacob longs to embrace.
It may seem that our community only pumps out an abundance of state or national – champion scholar-athletes, NFL’ers, musicians, artists and Oscar worthy screenwriters.
But year in and year out – and on any given spring weekend – we also turn out young men like Jacob.
The men we can always count on.
The ones that forever honor an oath.
Those that will be at their best when things are their worst.
Men that are needed to lead us here at home, out into the world, or even to the moon.
An Eagle will never get the press they deserve.
But being who they are, I am sure that consideration was never part of the equation.
They are different.
An Eagle is never in it for the accolades.
For they heed a higher calling.