This op-ed in The Star was superbly written by Alex McFry of White Plains and gave us great insight into the “young” men who one day will be taking over the next generation. We know Pete Johnson who has been the director of Boys State for 28 years, and no one is more dedicated to this program.
I would like to add that Boys State/Boys Nation is a program of the American Legion. The American Legion Auxiliary also has the same program for girls — Girls State/Girls Nation. I was honored to be a councilor several years ago. I had been involved at our unit level, but it wasn’t until I attended the week at Huntingdon College in Montevallo that I understood the full meaning of this program.
Over the years, many successful women have said that their affiliation with Girls State influenced them in the careers they now have. For example: Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey in her bio credits her Girls State experience when elected as the first Girls State alumnus to be elected to an Alabama constitutional office.
In these programs, participants learn the rights, principles and responsibilities of franchised citizens. Training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state government. The American Legion website shows actual events and is very informative of all its programs.
As long as these programs continue and teach young men and women the principles of our government and love and respect of our country, we can be assured of generations of citizens who will hopefully be involved in some aspect of our governmental process.
Thanks for a great story, Alex, and our best wishes in your journalism career.
Fred Schuler, Past Dept. Commander, Alabama
Past National Exec. Committeeman