Born in 1949, Tom grew up in a small rural community in central Illinois. In 1964, he joined the new, and only, formed Boy Scout troop in his hometown. Then approximately one year later an Explorer Post was formed, and all of the older boys, except Tom, left the scouts to join the Explorers. Tom had enjoyed working with the younger boys and helping them to advance in rank, so he offered his help to the Scoutmaster, which the Scoutmaster graciously accepted.
In recognition of his dedication, and concern for the younger boys' advancement, Tom was awarded the leadership of Jr. Assistant Scoutmaster. After graduating from high school in 1968, he enlisted into the United States Air Force. During his four years of Air Force enlistment, Tom served as a jet engine mechanic, of which one of those years was in Vietnam. Before leaving Vietnam for his trip back to the United States, he was awarded the United States Air Force commendation medal for meritorious service. Even after he graduated from high school, and had enlisted into the USAF, Tom's passion for the Scouting movement continued. When he returned from Vietnam in 1970, he was stationed at an air force base in Omaha Nebraska. While stationed there, he was an Assistant Scoutmaster in three different Boy Scout troops, and a Scoutmaster of another troop, at the same time. Since returning to civilian life, Tom has raised four children, and driven a tractor trailer semi-professionally for more than 20 years; and worked at a local golf course for the past seven years.
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