Veterans’ Day for the Surbaugh family brings back proud memories of my grandfather who served in the Navy in World War II and in Korea as a Quartermaster. He and a number of our family members served our nation in military service, and we honor them on Veterans’ Day as millions of others also take time to remember those who fought in wars for America and its citizens, including those who continue to serve in our military today.
Scouting has a proud heritage of its members going on to military service, many in leadership roles. In 2014, 413 Eagle Scouts graduated from U.S. military academies, ranging between 10 and 20 percent of graduating classes at four of the five of military academies surveyed by Scouting magazine.
I am also very proud of our units, Scouts and volunteers who continue to honor veterans in their own ways across our country, assisting at veterans’ homes, marching in parades to honor their memory, and placing flags on military graves.
And in July of this year, Scouting teamed up with the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the National Guard at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia for the BSA’s inaugural Veterans’ Appreciation Day. The event paired disabled veterans and active duty service members with Boy Scouts for a day of activities including canopy tours, kayaking, air rifles, and fishing.
Scouting touches our armed forces in many other ways, including how we prepare our Scouts for life, instilling confidence, character, leadership skills, and the guiding principles behind the Scout Oath and Scout Law. In this way, we play a proud role of preparing our young people for military service to help keep our nation strong and safe.
We owe a lot to our women and men in the military for the sacrifices they make to protect our freedom. Let’s all be mindful of those serving at home and overseas, our veterans and those who have given their lives for our country as we celebrate those who contribute to America’s freedom this Veterans’ Day.
Let’s all reach out and thank a vet.