As part of one of the finest programs in our community - and in all of America - for building good character and good citizenship among our boys, 580 Chattanooga-area men and women gathered at the Chattanooga Convention Center yesterday to salute the Boy Scouts of America and advance its constructive programs.
Thousands of area youths are involved in Boy Scouts. The annual Friends of Scouting Luncheon provided an opportunity for good citizens to help support local boys growing into productive adulthood.
Boy Scouts pledge, "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."
They support the Scout Law: "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent."
Wouldn't it be great if all of us adhered to those standards?
The honored speaker at the luncheon was Sgt. 1st Class Gregory A. Stube, now retired from the U.S. Army. He was aiding wounded special-forces soldiers on Sept. 6, 2006, when his vehicle was hit by an "improvised explosive device" in Kandahar, Afghanistan. A 1-pound piece of shrapnel struck his leg and went through his pelvis and abdomen. He spent nearly a year and a half in a military hospital.
"God spared me," Stube said. Now he is seeking to inspire our young people - and the rest of us - to be "part of the solution."
Eagle Scout Brian Smith - you see him now as a meteorologist on WDEF-TV - was master of ceremonies. Eagle Scout Robert T.J. Childers, rector at The Church of the Good Shepherd on Lookout Mountain, gave the invocation. Tom Edd Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, was honored as recipient of the national Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. The luncheon chairman was Jim Hobson, CEO of Memorial Health Care System and a Life Scout.
The program was an uplifting occasion to help finance our local Boy Scouts in their character-building programs. That, of course, is good for all of us.