Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Eagle Has Landed
This has been a remarkable but tiring week. It has been enough for several posts, so I will start with the last event. I was blessed to be invited to attend the ordination of a new Eagle Scout into that honored and respected tradition of obtaining the highest rank in Boy Scouts, the Eagle Scout status. It is obtained only after years of diligence and hard work; the giving of self to his fellow scouts, to the community, and to God.
Slowly over the years, a series of achievements and merit badges map the trail that each scout has traveled to achieve this much sought after goal. It is lined with the struggles of time, self discipline, and endurance.
I was blessed to see the culmination of all of these things this past Saturday evening. The one thing that made this achievement so powerful and poignant was his father was recently killed in a motorcycle accident and yet he persevered and accomplished his goal. His father was Dan Baranski and this young man was Lucas Baranski. Congratulations.
Let me take you back several years. Dan became the foster son of my brother-in-law, Kevin Morrison and his wife Beverly. They took into their home older boys that were often overlooked by the system and helped to redirect the young men into different paths. Dan aged out of the system and chose to become a Marine. Finished with his enlistment, he married TaShawna and had three beautiful children.

Kevin and Beverly were at the ceremony for Lucas. Beverly as usual with her generous ways, was the hostess and prepared the wonderful meal that preceded the award ceremony. I watched as TaShawna went forward to join Lucas and receive a pin honoring her, but I was wonderfully surprised to hear Lucas call out the name of the recipient for the “mentor” pin. It was Kevin Morrison, a man who helped to redirect Dan’s footsteps and made Dan the man that was Lucas’s father.

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