Sunday, July 29, 2007

A True Eagle Scout And Hero Gets His Just Honor!

Now here's some good news that isn't about Lindsay Lohan. More than a half-century after he finished the requirements to earn the rank and after verifying the information with the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America, the Southwest Florida Council will present Walter Hart, 88 with his Eagle award...70 years after completing the requirements. This could make him possibly the oldest person to ever collect the honor. Hart couldn't become an Eagle Scout at the time he earned the rank because his service in World War II got in the way.

"I've been looking forward to this for a long time," said Hart, who lives in a retirement center and whom Scout officials say may be the oldest person to ever earn the honor. Hart joined the Cub Scouts in 1928 in Malden, Mass., and earned 23 merit badges during his years as a Boy Scout, scouting officials said. Of the 120 merit badges available, 21 must be earned to qualify for Eagle Scout rank. But it all got set aside when he joined the Navy during World War II and last year, he rediscovered some of his old Boy Scout memorabilia, including documents that showed he completed the requirements for his Eagle Scout rank. He contacted the Scouts about receiving his award.

"I think this was something that was always on his mind, but every time he went to go do it, something else came up," daughter Elizabeth Gatturna said. "I know how hard he's tried to get to this point." Only about 5 percent of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Since 1912, nearly 1.9 million Eagles have been awarded, but the recipients' ages aren't recorded, Boy Scout officials said. "I'd be pretty surprised if anyone older has ever become an Eagle Scout," said Margie Byers, spokeswoman for the Southwest Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America.

“Pride, honor and the will to never-give up” are the words Hart’s daughter Elizabeth Gatturna uses to describe her father, “He is Boy Scout through and through,” said Gatturna.

And to that we say, Congratulations Walter. You finally did it. Late, but you did it! Now could you have a small chat with Lindsay Lohan?