Over the past century, America's Eagle Scouts have earned a reputation for service, virtue, and leadership that is recognized throughout the world. But few people realize the full extent to which Eagle Scouts have made a mark on American history. They have served as astronauts, soldiers, politicians, and businessmen, but they have also been the fathers, brothers, Scoutmasters, coaches, and other role models who have played an integral part in American life. Alvin Townley set out across the country to hear the stories of these Eagle Scouts. He spoke with individuals from every region, of every age and every background, some of whom have risen to fame as public figures while others have left a lasting impact outside of the spotlight. The Eagle Scouts who share their experiences include Bill Gates, Sr., Bill Bradley, J. W. Marriott, Jr., Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Lugar, Michael Dukakis, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, coach Chan Gailey, and Capt. Jim Lovell of Apollo 13. The book also explores the virtues of a Tuskegee Airman, a Vietnam War POW, a September 11 NYPD hero, a crew of Hurricane Katrina relief workers, and a host of others from every walk of life. During his journey, Alvin discovered stories of character, courage, and inspiration that belong not only to Eagle Scouts but to all Americans. These stories form the heart of Legacy of Honor and offer us a chance to appreciate the profound impact that Eagle Scouts have had on American history and the lasting role they will play in our country's future.
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A Legacy of Honor is the saga of Morgan Early spanning the first seventy years of the 20th century. Orphaned at birth in 1900, young Morgan hunts his foster mother’s killer, battles a mountain lion, a grizzly bear and the puzzling advances of a farmer’s daughter. Morgan fights with Pancho Villa in Mexico and the Marines at Belleau Woods. He is a rumrunner during Prohibition and a successful fisherman in Bimini after repeal. Recalled into the Marines in 1942, Morgan lands on the bloody beaches of Tarawa. His heroic life inspires his two sons to join the Marines with tragic results on the island of Iwo Jima and the jungles of Vietnam.
This commemoration of African-Americans in the U.S. military includes contributions from W. Stephen Morris and Luther H. Smith, one of the most-celebrated Tuskegee Airmen. Other black military heroes featured in the book include Crispus Attucks, the first man to die in the Revolutionary War; Lt. James Reese Europe, who brought jazz music to Europe in 1918; Lt. Charity Adams, commander of the only all-black Women's Army Corps unit during World War II; and Gen. Colin Powell, who served with distinction in Vietnam, became the first African-American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, and retired a four-star general before becoming the first African-American Secretary of State.