Meeting Robert Gates has special significance for Scout whose father is deployed in Afghanistan

The Report to the Nation delegates meet Robert Gates

For Jace Taliaferro, this was more than just another meeting.

The 13-year-old presented the Report to the Nation to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Tuesday as part of the BSA’s annual visit to Washington, D.C.

A great moment for all the delegates was even more significant for Jace, though.

That’s because his father is an Army major currently serving in Afghanistan, so shaking hands with the nation’s top defense policy advisor meant more to Jace than most.

Jace’s father is scheduled to return home in April, and you can bet that the two will have some great stories to share with each other.

I’m guessing that Jace and his fellow Scouts had little trouble getting this visit approved, considering Gates’ good relationship with the BSA.

Gates is a Distinguished Eagle Scout, an award given to men who serve their community and profession for at least 25 years after earning the Eagle Scout Award.

And last summer, the defense secretary spoke at the opening arena show of the national jamboree.

“When I joined the CIA at age 22, I had no connections and didn’t know a soul,” he told the crowd. “The only thing in my life that led me to believe I could make it was my Eagle Scout badge. It was the only thing that distinguished me from most high school kids.”

About Bryan Wendell 2965 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.