May 25, 2022
GREENVILLE, S.C.— As America prepares to give tribute to fallen heroes on Memorial Day, Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com) CEO Mark Hancock encourages all Americans to honor veterans, and reaffirms Trail Life’s dedication to inspire patriotism and build character in boys across America.
Hancock said, “Too often, instead of exalting men from their significant contributions, our culture is dismissing the heroism of fathers and forefathers and choosing instead to emphasize their shortcomings. But Theodore Roosevelt correctly pointed out that, ‘Freedom from effort in the present mearely means that there has been stored up effort in the past… Thank God for the iron in the blood of our forefathers.’
“At Trail Life USA, we teach about the character, faith, fortitude, and pioneering spirit of the men and women that made America great. We instill character, honor, and a sense of duty to God and others. Roosevelt also said, ‘No one can be a good American unless he is a good citizen, and every boy ought to train himself so that as a man he will be able to do his full duty to the community … [to] act in a way that will give them a country to be proud of.’ These principles are foundational to the mission of Trail Life USA.”
Hancock continued, “Every year on Memorial Day, Trailmen across America honor those in our military, both active and retired, who put their lives on the line to defend our country and our freedom. We hold those men and women in the highest esteem. Whether marching in a parade, cleaning a monument, serving meals, or working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, young men are engaging with veterans, learning about our heritage, and honoring the proud legacy of our country.
“The Trail Life USA oath begins with the words, ‘On my Honor.’ As boys engage with our veterans and witness character in their leaders, they come to understand the meaning of honor as it is lived out before them. The oath they take to ‘do my best to serve God and my country; To respect authority; To be a good steward of creation; And to treat others as I want to be treated’ takes on new meaning. As boys see an honorable example of masculinity lived out before them, they grow to become honorable men.”
Hancock concluded, “Here at Trail Life, we challenge boys to grow as courageous men of character as they discover, learn and grow through outdoor adventure and intentional mentoring. We think that the drive and daring of boys is exactly what’s responsible for producing winning, determined, respectful, honoring men, and we are proud to foster that in boys across America.”
Trail Life USA is the premier national character development organization for young men, producing godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. Trail Life’s mission is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. Troops exist in all 50 states and are growing as Trail Life USA expands around the country. Find a Troop today, or Start a Troop in your community. Find out more at TrailLifeUSA.com.
Trail Life USA’s K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills. A robust awards program motivates young men to grow on a personal level to become role models and leaders among their peers. Living the Trail Life USA is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.