SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
The Boy Scouts of America Troop 165 recently held a recognition ceremony for two of its members commemorating their transition into Eagle Scouts at the Base Chapel on Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, May 18, 2016.
Daniel and Matthew O’Connor, both BSA Troop 165 Eagle Scouts and sons of U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. James O’Connor, 52nd Fighter Wing command post chief, earned their rank of Eagle Scouts during their recognition ceremony.
The BSA, according to their website, believes that helping youth is a key to building a more productive society with the Eagle Scout program serving as a means to recognize the top 5% of the 40 million Boy Scouts who have joined since 1912.
“Eagle Scout is not the last step in the advancement,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaron Anthony, a 52nd Communications Squadron client systems technician supervisor and BSA Troop 165 scoutmaster. “It’s more than a patch – it’s a stepping stone. Not just for them, but for the other scouts in the troop. They see the transition for the boy receiving it and realize they want to be there. It’s achieving a milestone.”
The O’Connor brothers achieved the rank of Eagle Scout by earning a minimum of 21 merit badges, demonstrated scout spirit and displayed leadership.
“Don’t let your dreams stay dreams,” Matthew said. “Taking a risk and failing is infinitely better than standing by and letting it pass. My baseball coach used to tell me time and time again, ‘success is found through when preparation meets opportunity. If you’re not prepared, if you don’t work hard every day, if you don’t give it your all, how can you accomplish your goals?’”
Both brothers spoke of a central theme during their ceremonial speeches – having a goal in mind and ensuring that all preparations and steps are taken to certify a successful end to a life milestone.
“You should take risks and stop and look around to see how far you’ve made it already,” Daniel said. “Your path to the top of the mountain seems grueling, and you just want to get to the top – get it over with. But I want to tell you sometimes the most scenic parts of the mountain are on the way up.”