Dear Legion Teammates,
On behalf of the entire American Legion Texas Boys State executive committee, I hope that all is well with you and yours during this very difficult time for our globe.
If you are not yet aware, this year’s Texas Boys State will be a robust virtual program leveraging some amazing technology. We are grateful to the DEC for the many questions, thoughtful debate, creative ideas, and teamwork in creating this opportunity for our Texas to yet again be at the forefront and a national leader during challenging times.
Just as we would with any military mission, we are seizing the initiative and tackling this hard problem with reasoned perspective, tenacity, innovative thinking, a very robust planning process, and leveraging a few hundred years of experience—to bring a meaningful program to this year’s crew of Statesmen.
While the universe will not permit an in-person session this year, what we are creating is special. I remain personally amazed at the sheer horsepower, heart, and ability of the executive committee to pivot and create this virtual program from scratch. We are excited to share with you!
In an effort to keep you as informed as possible, you will soon receive a separate note from our team with a bunch of “things to know” about your program this year. This is not merely “watch some slides and take a quiz” type stuff . . . the program will be a hearty, engaged, get-your-hands-dirty, “learn-by-doing” experience. While the virtual program will not be perfect, it will be meaningful, top-notch and something these young men will cherish.
The most important thing we need from our Legion family is for you to continue to select the best hand-picked talent across the State. Key to the success of any of our programs, in-person or virtual, is each Post identifying the most qualified and high-speed youngsters for the honor of participating. Thank you for all you do. We know it is very hard work.
Of course, and always, our focus is directly on the Statesmen which not only drives our passion but gives context to the decisions we make. This Legion program still makes a huge difference in the lives of young people.
Just today, we learned one of our Boys State alumni from LaGrange will attend Ole Miss on full scholarship and receive $12,000 additional to cover housing and expenses. The path that led to this wonderful situation started specifically at Boys State and the college was so appreciative. Thank you to Post 102, John Marburger, and his team—and to all of you heavy-lifters at the Posts. This is just one example of the many lives changed by this program. What you do matters.
We are grateful—and fired-up quite frankly—that our Texas Legion, once more, is on the leading-edge and not afraid to meet challenges head-on. And it is a pleasure to be part of an organization that is willing to innovate, lean-forward, challenge norms, and create something special for this 2020 group of young men, despite the difficulties.
Thank you, kindly, and more to follow from your planning team!
Casey Z. Thomas
Chairman, American Legion Texas Boys State