First Marine Killed in GWOT Remembered

IMG_1633[1]40 years ago, on November 21, 1979, United States Marine Corporal Steven J. Crowley, who was guarding the United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, was shot and killed by radical Muslim extremists (Islamists), becoming one of the first casualties of the modern Global War on Terror (GWOT).

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Muslim extremist “students,” having heard a false story about the US occupation of the mosque at Mecca, Saudi Arabia, gathered weapons and then boarded buses that would take them to the embassy.

Once at the compound, the Islamists stormed the complex and then set fire to debris collected on the first floor of the main building.

US Embassy Islamabad

CPL Crowley was shot once through the head, just above his left ear, at approximately 1:10 p.m. local time, while on duty protecting the embassy from the roof of the main building. He was taken into the building and then brought to the safe room, or vault on the second floor.

At approximately 3:25 p.m. CPL Crowley was pronounced dead in the embassy vault, after an oxygen tank that was providing his threadbare connection to life ran out.

This group of Islamist “students” was later to be funded by none other than Osama bin Laden himself.

Steven was a tall, fit, blond-haired blue-eyed, chivalrous and cordial 19 year old graduate of Comsewogue High School, in Port Jefferson Station, Long Island, New York, who loved to run on the Cross Country and Spring Track Teams and who was a member of the Chess Club.

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Steven Crowley Park, in Port Jefferson Station, was named for this brave neighbor of ours, and by cleaning up the park each fall we honor him and his brave and selfless service to our country. Cub Scout Pack 120 (Boy Scouts of America) has been cleaning up the park each fall at least since my 24 year old Eagle Scout son was a 6 year old Tiger Scout, 18 years ago and counting.

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We tell the boys about Steven and his sacrifice to his country and to all of us.

Steven is a hero to all the nation, and his death marks one of the very first casualties in the Global War on Terror. The incident that precipitated Steven’s murder at the hands of Islamists shook the Muslim world just the day before, on November 20, 1979.

Overzealous Wahhabi’s seized the Grand Mosque at Mecca for about two weeks. Saudi Arabian commandos, with the help of French and American intelligence, eventually retook the mosque, ending the incident. But the erroneous story that the US had seized the mosque incensed hordes of Islamists throughout the Muslim world.

The incident at the US embassy in Islamabad was merely the first in a series of events that eventually led up to the attacks by Islamists on the United States on September 11, 2001, killing more Americans than died at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, or died at Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Since then our enemies have mutated into the current Islamic State, but many other Islamic terrorist groups have emerged as well, each one determined to eliminate Israel, kill all infidels, and establish a worldwide caliphate.

In Steven’s memory, and for us, and for generations to come, we must fight the forces of evil that continue to harm us and our allies. Until all Islamists are dead, or no longer have the means or will to kill us, we must defend ourselves by any means necessary.

Thank you, Steven for your service, loyalty and sacrifice. We shall never forget your chivalry, integrity and self-less service to this great nation.

Never Volunteer? One Horse Cavalryman’s Tale

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SGT George Grassman, 5th Infantry Division, 4th Squadron, 12th Cavalry, Ft. Carson, Colorado, did what every soldier is told NOT to do: volunteer. Yet there he was, a draftee mortarman (11C20) in 1965, in formation, listening to his infantry Platoon Sergeant lament about there not being enough horsemen to fill the saddles in an elite group of soldiers who would eat, sleep, live and breathe with one of the last cavalry outfits in the United States Army.

Little did George know at the time, he would be part of an original group of volunteers of the Ft. Carson Mounted Color Guard, whose motto, Semper Paratus means, “Always Ready.” The MCG celebrated its 50th anniversary in December 2015. The group’s founder Hugh Trabandt, was driven to reproduce the glory days of the horse soldier, after having been a member of the US Cavalry Horse Platoon in Berlin, Germany in 1954.

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SGT George Grassman, center

George had always liked horses. Growing up, his uncle had horses and would take George riding, so volunteering for the cavalry came naturally.

The 4th of the 12th was assigned parade and ceremony duty from time-to-time, but 24/7/365, they cared for and fed Army (and some civilian) horses, and loved every minute of it!

George told me tales of dress-right-dress in a trot for this ceremony or that; very disciplined, very serious, with every detail, from the straps to the spurs, looking perfect.

The horse cavalrymen had to make most of what they used for ceremonies, including piecing together uniforms, scarves, trim, and dyeing Army green wool blankets navy blue for the horse covers. When all was said and done, no one could tell that the trimmings and tack were homemade – the Army simply did not procure or supply cavalry fittings anymore.

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George told me about some of the more relaxed times, like one day, while out haying for the horses, the men of the unit, in civilian clothes outside the base in the hay fields, took turns to see how high they could stack the hay bales in the back of a pick-up truck to take back to the stables.

They got the hay so high that it caught the attention of a state police officer, who pulled the men over.

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George says, initially the officer told them he was going to write them a ticket, and they would have to go back and get rid of some of the hay because there was an overpass down the road that would surely not accommodate their towering stack.

The driver of the truck, lower in rank than George, quickly pointed out that George was in charge and should get the ticket instead of himself!

The officer demurred when George told the officer it wouldn’t be a problem to lower the height of the stack. The officer put away the summons and told the men to be careful.

Such antics were unique to the Horse Soldiers. Proud of their mounts and of their special status as favored ceremonial troops, George said he really enjoyed the duty.

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I would not be telling you about George and his service had it not been for his habit of volunteering for things.

Not too long ago, when my third Eagle Scout son, Theodore (17) was planning his project, George jumped up figuratively, and volunteered not just to help Theodore, but also to lend him his garage, tools, scrap wood, patio and barbecue!

George’s generosity and selfless service are second-to-none. George lives on Long Island, New York, and is married to Roberta, and they have three grown children; two boys and a girl who have given them four grandchildren.

We believe that George’s kindness had a halo effect around my son. The three of us, Eagle Scout project supply list in hand, went off to a local Home Depot to obtain what we needed for the project.

Theodore asked for the manager, Sue, who told him, “No problem,” when he asked for a donation or discount from the store for his project. Sue told him to get what he needed and then ask for her at the check-out.

Not long into the shopping, a tall, strapping gentleman, wearing a blue baseball cap with an eagle head on it, approached my son, who was in full Class “A” Boy Scout uniform, and asked him if he was shopping for his Eagle Scout project. Why, yes he was!

The gentleman, who introduced himself as Mike, asked Theodore what his project was about (banner hangers in our church – the First United Methodist Church of Port Jefferson, NY – for an abundance of church banners!), and when he found out it was for Theodore’s church (George and I are both Trustees of the church), Mike said, “Follow me.”

We followed him to the checkout, where he promptly purchased a $100 gift card for Theodore, handed it to him and said, “Someday, pay it forward.” We thanked Mike for his generosity and promised to invite him to Theodore’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. A self-employed contractor, Mike admitted to being an Eagle Scout himself, and choosing an Eagle for his company’s logo.

But George’s good luck hadn’t yet worn off!

When we were finished shopping and then called for Sue at the check-out, prepared to pay partially with the gift card, Sue refused, saying, “It’s all on us.”

Needless to say, we were all blown away at Sue’s and Home Depot’s generosity. Sue told Theodore she wanted only one promise. Theodore had to swear to bring her photos of the finished project. Not a problem!

For the next two days we and about eight other Scouts (including Theodore’s younger brother, Hamilton (13), four more adults and Theodore’s two older brother Eagle Scouts, Benjamin (23) and Harrison (20), cut, sanded, nailed, glued and stained wooden banner hangers, ten of them, which would hold two banners each. George could still fit into his vintage Boy Scout shirt, and wore it during the project construction.

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Theodore, second from left; George, second from right; Harrison, right; Hamilton, center (red).

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Theodore and George

 

We went from George’s hand built stand-alone garage – looking good as new at some thirty-plus years old – to the back of the church’s choir room and then Theodore and George installed the hangers on the back wall.

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Mounted banner holders!

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Author, back, left; Theodore, back second from left; George, center; Benjamin, back center; Hamilton, front, second from right.

This wasn’t George’s first rodeo. Several years earlier, George had helped my second son, Harrison with his Eagle Scout project, installing energy efficient light fixtures in the church Community Room. George just can’t help volunteering for things!

This Veterans Day, seek out those veterans and their stories who might be right under your nose (maybe members of your own church or civic group), but are maybe too humble to mention their glorious past. You might be very surprised at what and whom you find.

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“Always Ready”

It took mentioning an old magazine cover I spotted in George’s garage during Theodore’s Eagle Scout project to get him to talk about his heyday. I’m very glad I spoke up. Moreover, I am glad that George volunteered to be one of the original Ft. Carson Mounted Color Guard horse soldiers.

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SOS for a British Comrade

Never let it be said that we stand by and watch our comrades in arms struggle when we can give a helping hand. As military men and women, we have a common bond, and although we’ve not always been best of friends with the British, this time of year makes us reflect on our comradeship.

Therefore, I would be grateful for all my brothers and sisters at arms out there to please join me and help keep the legacy of a local World War I hero from being desecrated by a government council in Scotland.

Ralph

Captain Ralph Hudson

Captain Ralph Hudson died 99 years ago, but there is no eternal peace for him after an unbelievable decision was made on the eve of Remembrance Sunday*. Now it seems that this Duke of Wellington Regiment’s soldier has one more battle to fight . . . from beyond the grave.

As part of his legacy, trustees for Captain Ralph Palliser Milbanke Hudson’s estate, left a piece of land to his local church to be used for burials of resident parishioner’s at no cost to them, but Scottish Borders Council (SBC) have just stopped the practice of free burials which first began in 1925.

Buried alive while marking for the Artillery opposite Messines in 1915, Captain Hudson suffered horrific injuries after surviving the German shelling and gassing.

Five years later, he sadly succumbed to his injuries and the Wolfelee estate between Jedburgh and Hawick bequeathed land to Hobkirk Parish Church in 1925 in his memory, which would enable local parishioners to have free burials.

There are around 60 plots left in the cemetery extension at the church, but the Scottish Borders Council has slapped funeral charges of up to £1000 on future burials; a move which has provoked anger among locals.

One of the locals who now lives on the estate is author and journalist Yvonne Ridley. You may know her as a former captive of the Taliban back in 2001, but she has also served as an officer in the Territorial Army.

She said, “I’ve looked in to Ralph’s family history and he was born in the same county as myself. We both served in the military as Captains, although thankfully, I saw no action unlike Ralph, and we both ended up living in the same house albeit a century apart.

“He, like me, valued the people in his adopted community in the Scottish Borders and his legacy should be preserved. I’m not even sure what the council is doing is legal and once we find the original documents or copies relating to the deeds we will prove this.

“I believe we have right on our side and if this council wants a battle then it will get one. They should remember the ‘Dukes’ motto: Fortune Favors The Brave!

“There will also be US soldiers reading this who are just as angry as me and I would ask for your help. Of course, the decent thing for SBC to do would be to capitulate and honor Ralph’s memory and legacy. This is, after all, the month of November when we remember and honor our war dead.

“Perhaps this is something the council bureaucrats would do well to remember.”

Before his death, Captain Hudson wrote a book on the history of Wolfelee, published by his family after his demise.

A preface to his History of Wolfelee says, “He was buried by a German shell whilst marking for the Artillery opposite Messines, and never really recovered from his injuries, dying from heart failure on March 25, 1920.”

SBC remains unrepentant. A spokesperson said after a council review in 2014 the authority saw that “Hobkirk was recognized as having been providing burial ground without a charge.

“The premise on which the ground was being given free was researched, including scrutinizing titles, historical records and Council-held files.

“What was established was that there was no legal basis on which the ground was being provided free of charge and that the Council was entitled to charge for the purchase of burial plots within Hobkirk.

“Charging was implemented at the start of the 2015/16 financial year and the rates are reviewed and updated annually as part of the budget setting process.”

However, campaigners say they are more determined than ever to get justice. Ms. Ridley added, “We are taking legal advice and will continue our fight for Ralph’s legacy.

“The council may want to forget all about the heroics of Captain Hudson but we will not and neither should parishioners because they have to walk past his grave for Sunday worship every week.

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Farmer Donald at Captain Hudson’s Grave

“We will definitely be planning a fitting memorial to mark the centenary of his death and expect it could turn in to quite a significant event. Hopefully SBC will re-think its policy on this occasion and do the right thing.”

She urged anyone who wants to support Captain Hudson’s legacy should write to SBC’s Chief Executive Tracey Logan at her email address (Tracey.Logan@scotborders.gov.uk) and urge her to overturn the council’s decision to trash Ralph’s legacy.

Captain Hudson was born in October 1891 in Sunderland, the only son of Ralph Milbanke Hudson and Eliza Westropp Hudson. After graduating from Cambridge, he was commissioned into the West Riding Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant. The regiment was also known as the 3rd Duke of Wellington’s.

That year he went on active service to France in January 1915, but, in the same year, was invalided home after being shelled, gassed and temporarily buried alive.

He published a book of “Trench Yarns” under the pen-name “Peter” as well as a History of the Hudson family home, Wolfelee, published posthumously.

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Captain Ralph Hudson and bride, Annie Charleston Goninan

He married Annie Charleston Goninan at Hobkirk in 1918 but never recovered from his injuries, dying from heart failure two years later.

Editor’s Note: If you are interested in helping the campaign to preserve Captain Hudson’s Legacy or have more information about him please contact the author. There will be a wreath laying ceremony for Captain Hudson a few days ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

*Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom as a day “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts”. It is held at 11:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in November.

 

The Medic

Combat Medic

The Medic doesn’t heal you,

The Medic doesn’t stay with you.

He is like a comma or a semicolon

In the middle of a sentence;

He’s there just long enough to give you pause.

Down the road is healing, and he may take you there

By road or stream or air,

He won’t stay with you,

But not because he doesn’t care,

He just doesn’t have TIME.

On the ground he looks at you,

Processes you,

Sees your wound, your blood, your guts,

As you.

And then he either kisses you with life,

Or leaves you there to Death.

Only long after does he cry or laugh

Having seen you die or live.

The Medic sees you cry, but can’t afford to care then –

Beyond just another wound or cut.

He’s on to the next one, and the next one,

And the next.

Until Peace comes to save him,

He’s all-in!

Never quit!

Never die!

Stick a needle in his eye!

 

 

Why Harriet Tubman Should Get Her Own Denomination

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said recently that the Obama era plan to switch the picture on the US twenty dollar bill from President Andrew Jackson to abolitionist Harriet Tubman has essentially been tabled until after President Donald Trump leaves office. Maybe not even in circulation until 2028.

Now that’s what I call kicking the currency down the road!

Why the hubbub? Why the consternation? Why the sighs of relief?

It’s as if people have been lead to believe that it is an either/or proposition.

C’mon, folks! Think outside the (cash) box?

Harriet Tubman was a US Army pensioner. Heck, she led ARMED raids on slavers! This was no demure American hero. This lady ROCKED!

Pictured here on a mock-up of the current twenty dollar bill (sans Jackson) the artist has depicted Tubman as the brave, fearless, determined leader that she was.

Hand outstretched to lead those whom she saved to freedom and liberty. Pistol at the ready to deter or enforce against those who would stop her. Harriet Tubman was the quintessential American individual.

Depicted in history books as almost a school marm, Tubman’s real life embodied the honor, integrity and fortitude of a true leader.

For Jackson’s sake, some love him (Donald Trump), and some hate him (social justice warriors). A swashbuckling populist war hero, Jackson was rough and ready.

Ironically, he actually, probably shared numerous personality traits with Tubman. Both were passionate about their beliefs and convictions. So much so that they had many admirer’s and followers. Jackson could probably boast as many enemies and detractors, though even to this day.

Tubman in her own right, can probably not be criticized, and is a consensus choice for posterity through her living image on our currency. I for one would be extremely proud to carry “Tubman’s” in my wallet!

But herein lies the rub!

Why not give her her own denomination?

Doing so would eliminate angst among the Jackson-lovers clan (of which I am one, truth be told, middle-naming my fourth son after him), and would aspire the Tubman crowd to higher heights with . . . drum roll, please . . . a TWENTY-FIVE DOLLAR BILL!

That’s right, twenty-five! Why twenty-five? Because it’s a great number! We have quarter dollars (four of them equal a George Washington – $1 bill).

Four Tubman’s would equal a Franklin ($100 bill). Four $25’s would take up less space in the wallet than five $20’s. Fewer bills overall would need to be produced. ATM’s could carry more money!

At first, you could make 25 percent fewer Jackson’s, introducing Tubman’s slowly to gauge acceptance and utility. As the stats come in you could adjust the minting and distribution accordingly.

Think of the PR coup President Trump could enjoy! Keep the Jackson twenty AND produce the Tubman twenty-five! Have your cake and eat it, too!

Trump could engage the public with a “National Twenty-Five Dollar Bill Design Contest!” Come one, come all, and design the next new currency!

Using the traditional format for continuity, the possibility of colors and fonts and security details could abound.

My pick would be the hero Tubman in the picture. It’s perfect in every way. Her descendants could be the final arbiters of the design.

If you agree that Harriet Tubman should have her own denomination, and that it should be $25 (five more than Jackson!), then share this blog post on social media, email, with friends and neighbors!

Tell President Trump and Steve Mnuchin that there is a way forward that would be a win-win for everyone!

 

 

“No Call?” or IGNORED Call: How to Fix It

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Let’s be CLEAR, the no-flag penalty in the New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams NFC Championship game played on January 20, 2019, was NOT a “no call” or a “blown call,” it was an IGNORED call.

Rex Ryan, on ESPN, called it “The worst no call in the history of sports.”

An understatement.

We’ll let the investigative reporters follow the bouncing ball on potential funny business on why the call was ignored. The rest of us need a solution.

The NFL could solve this problem for all eternity by changing the rule to allow such plays to be reviewed in the “booth” or at NFL Headquarters. They could call an emergency owners meeting, hash it out and then voila! no more egregious IGNORED calls.

However, the NFL could solve the immediate problem, one which if they don’t could well be their death knell, and for what? Ratings? Money? Certainly not prestige.

Insinuations about a rigged game for ratings is up front and personal on social media. Los Angeles vs. New England is a much bigger draw then New Orleans vs. Kansas City.

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But the NFL could again, call an emergency owners meeting and then decide to re-play the game from the point of the IGNORED penalty, after awarding the penalty.

Simple, fair, and lifesaving for the NFL.

But, the won’t do it.

The game is over, and just like the kneeling pox that devastated many loyal NFL fans two years ago, the NFL feel that “this too, shall pass.” They are too big to fail.

They have announced their Super Bowl teams and with blinders and earplugs in place, they will soldier on.

They will move forward without integrity. It’s no fun to watch a game that isn’t fair. It’s not watchable if there is no oversight on such egregious events. Fans will not tolerate a rigged system, nor entertain such shenanigans.

If you believe it was a “missed” or “blown” call, consider this: The referees were either incompetent or insubordinate. They either couldn’t make the call or wouldn’t make the call. Neither is acceptable. It was IGNORED.

The photographs and video do not lie. There is no escape from the facts. The truth may yet to be revealed.

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Until then, raise your hand if you’re going to watch the Super Bowl this year, or any NFL moving forward if this is not fixed the right way, now.

Sex and the Boy Scouts

Boy Scout Oath

I was never a Scout. But I’ve been a Scouter (adult leader) for over 16 years, and my two eldest boys are Eagle Scouts. My third son, a Life Scout, has completed all of his Eagle Scout required Merit Badges and is working on his Eagle Scout project. My fourth and final son is a Second Class Scout and loves the program probably more than his three older brothers put together. My only daughter is a Junior Girl Scout and loves every minute of it.

My fourth Scout is pure boy. Usually a path-of-least-resistance expert when it comes to chores and homework, but when Scouting is the subject he is front and center and full speed ahead.

Last summer, his second summer camp with the Troop, he earned more Merit Badges than any other of his 42 peers, and caught (and then released) his first fish.

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Yesterday, I received this letter in an email from the Chief Scout Executive, Michael B. Surbaugh:

I am writing to you today in anticipation of news reports that will speculate about the BSA’s financial position. We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported and protected, and preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.

To do so in perpetuity, we are working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scout of America continues uninterrupted. We have a social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and we also have an obligation to carry out our mission to serve youth, families and local communities through our programs.

We care deeply about all victims of child sex abuse and we are steadfast in our belief that one incident of child abuse is one too many. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in our programs. As you all know, we have always taken care of victims – we believe them, we believe in fairly compensating them and we have paid for unlimited counseling, by a provider of their choice, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since an instance of abuse. Throughout our history we have taken proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse. I want to stress that at no time in our history have we knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and we always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.

Please know that these matters continue to have the full attention of the highest levels of our organization, and we will communicate transparently as there are developments or updates to share. I wanted to update you today due to the news speculation, and I want to assure you that our daily mission will continue and that there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected.

Thank you for your continued support of the Boy Scouts of America.

Michael B. Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive

Then today, I read news reports that Scouting BSA was going bankrupt.

Articles written about it cited a drop in membership, from 4.0 million members at it’s height, to about 2.3 million members today, and falling.

The articles speculated that changes in the organization for the last five years or so played a major role in dwindling participation. Changes that betrayed the founding principles and morality of the decidedly religious organization.

Heck, I had trouble with Scouting since they got rid of red in the uniform several years ago! I still haven’t bought the “new” shirt, sticking with the red embroidery and patches.

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The articles speculate that the major changes, allowing openly gay Scouts in 2014, and openly gay Scouters in 2015, caused a huge exodus.

Boy Scouts had no rule against gay Scouts or Scouters joining the organization prior to the change, but forbade expressions of sexuality by anyone in scouting, which meant, an openly gay or heterosexual person would not be allowed to participate.

All this meant was there there is no hand holding, hugging, kissing, or other PDA (Public Displays of Affection) in Scouting. In fact, in the Youth Protection Training (YPT) required of adult leaders, touching a Scout is forbidden, and is associated with grooming behavior, which sexual predators use to desensitize their targets and condition them for future more intimate touch.

In short, there was no human sexuality in Scouting, either in the program or in interactions between boys, between Scout leaders, or between the two. None. Not part of teaching boys about leadership or community service. And that was a good thing.

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Then the real show stopper: Girls in Boy Scouts.

Nothing against girls, I was mostly raised by my mother, had older and a younger sister, am married to a woman and have a ten year old daughter. I love and respect the females in my life and I appreciate their unique contributions to family life.

Scouting has always been a family program through Cub Scouts anyway, with many moms as leaders, and with female siblings invited to participate in activities and events.

However, once crossed over into Boy Scouts during the second half of a boy’s 5th grade year, girls were not allowed to participate. Puberty was the common sense cut-off. And moms faded into Troop Committees for the most part, leaving uniformed leadership positions to men.

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In my younger days I participated in church camp, which was always co-ed. As an adolescent boy I can tell you there were probably three things I was most interested in, girls, girls and girls.

Later, when I became an older teen and then young adult, I was a church and other camp counselor for co-ed as well as single gender camps. The co-ed camps were barely manageable due to the natural order of things. Boys and girls were attracted to each other, all-the-time.

As an educator of over 32 years, I have read the studies and seen first hand that males and females learn best apart. I taught high school health education in New York City public high school for several years, and the curriculum would probably curl your toes. There is no place for human sexuality in Scouting.

We separate boys and girls for sports and other activities at around 12 or 13 years old. Again, for good reason. Boys and girls are different. Biology is a fact.

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Scouting had a remedy for girls preferring a more adventurous experience than usually offered by Girl Scouts by offering a co-ed Venturing Program that focuses on adventure-type activities for older teens and young adults of both genders, supervised and led by male and female adults.

As for gay Scouts and Scouters, probably most Boy Scout Troops knew or suspected a gay-leaning Scout here or there, and maybe even a gay leader. But no one cared because sexuality was not part of the program. Sexuality of any kind was not allowed to be discussed or displayed.

YPT has always been front and center as long as I have been a Scouter, and two-deep leadership principles strictly adhered to. Scouting is serious about youth protection. And now, apparently, is serious about abuse remedies, expenses be damned.

All that is fine, but how do you put the sexuality genie back in the bottle?

How do we save Scouting?

The Mormon Church has announced that they will no longer sponsor Scouting BSA Troops beginning in 2020. That’s about one third or more of the remaining membership.

Founded by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, a devout Christian, Scouting was never shy about its religious grounding. In fact, one of Baden-Powell’s famous quotes is: “Scouting is no less than applied Christianity.”

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In other words, Scouting was not PC. Scouting was about rough and tumble, using ones hands, learning skills and teaching boys how to DO things, through the teachings of God. Scouting was the one place you could count on other than church and the dinner table that boys would be taught citizenship, something I was graded on in elementary school in the 1960’s but apparently fell out of practice in the self-esteem era. Scouting seemed timeless.

Scouting is non-denominational, and accepts Catholics, Jews and Protestants, Buddhists and Muslims. Scouting teaches reverence and respect.

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The changes in Scouting over the past several years have betrayed the founding philosophy that made Scouting what it was.

Will we survive this? I don’t know. I’m trying not to panic.

The road forward will be difficult, especially if those who lead the national organization continue down the path of social progressiveness and do not listen to traditional Scouters and alumni.

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As alternative programs for boys gain popularity and take hold, especially through church groups, Scouting BSA will fade into something amorphous and strange. I fear it’s only a matter of time before they change or get rid of the Oath and Law altogether.

Change for change’s sake is never a good idea. And saying it’s best for the organization to change in order to reduce litigation fees is a cop out and a sellout.

In my opinion, our boys and our society deserve better.