July 30, 2012.
BSA National Executive Board 1325 Walnut Hill Lane
PO Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
Re:Return of my Eagle badges
To: Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive and the BSA National Executive Board,
Please receive my dress eagle medallion, my standard eagle badge and my eagle knot. I cannot in good conscience keep these badges from an organization which tarnishes their value by banning openly gay boys and leaders. I am absolutely outraged at your position and your recent reiteration of this policy. I earned my eagle in the early 1970’s and renewed my association with scouting when my sons entered Cub scouts in 2001; both are now eagle scouts. I am currently Scoutmaster for Troop 152 of Brighton, NY and have watched proudly as many young men have marched up through the ranks and achieved eagle. No two boys are alike but I am proud of every one of them for their perseverance when much of our society discourages them from involvement in an organization which requires a khaki uniform and harps on good deeds and reverence. I have helped and encouraged boys who many thought could not or should not have reached eagle. I believe for some of these boys, being a scout and reaching eagle may be the point of pride which sustains them through their most difficult tests. It angers me to no end that the national leadership of BSA would deprive the boys who need this type of security and support the most from participation in scouting. I’ve read many of the letters recently written by men who have already returned their badges. I cannot possibly match their stories and eloquence but I add my heartfelt support to their message. Most men politely requested you to reconsider. For the honor of all eagles past and future and the well being of future generations, I demand it.
William J. DeVos, AIA
Scoutmaster, Troop 152, Brighton, NY