An 80-year-old man became an Eagle Scout over 60 years after he joined the Boy Scouts of America.
Ed Keller joined the organization when he was 11-years-old. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native stayed with his local troop throughout high school, collecting merit badges.
“I had thought sometimes I had enough merit badges. I said I should’ve got Eagle Scout,” Keller told Wane 15.
When Keller turned 18, he joined the Air National Guard. During his military service, he went to France for the Berlin Crisis. Meanwhile, Keller didn’t realize while he was away, his scoutmaster had nominated him for Eagle rank. But the organization required the scout nominated submit the application. Keller’s mother acquired the paperwork where it sat forgotten in an envelope for almost 50 years.
Keller returned home and worked for the postal service and fire department. Over the years, he occasionally wondered why he never made Eagle Scout. When his mother passed away, Keller’s sister found the letter notifying Keller of his eligibility for the award.
“My sister gave it to me in 2003, so that’s the first time I had seen the letter,” Keller said. “ to 2003, that’s quite a long time. So I said, can probably forget about that.”
Keller became an Eagle Scout in June of this year.
After several years of encouragement, Keller finally submitted the paperwork. A special committee for the National Boy Scouts Council approved Keller’s special circumstances. While Keller thought he’d just pick up the award, the organization held the same ceremony and recognition as other Eagle Scouts.
(Click here to access video of Keller’s ceremony).
On June 23, 2020, Keller finally became an Eagle Scout. During the ceremony, the organization recognized both Keller’s military service and career at the fire department.
“Lift up everyone you meet to a high level of service to God and to your fellow man,” said Tim Kearney of the Anthony Wayne Area Councils. “Help build America on the solid foundations of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship and reverence for God. In short, be like Ed Keller.”