SAL Commander Fox: ‘I’m proud to be a Boys State alum’

As he addressed the citizens of the 2022 session of California Boys State, SAL National Commander Michael Fox reflected on his own, somewhat less comfortable, experience at the program when he was a delegate in 1997.

“We were in a gym on wooden bleachers, getting splinters where no man should get splinters, 100-degree heat with no air conditioning,” Fox said, drawing calls of commiseration from the 800 Boys State citizens.

“But I can still say that I’m proud to be a Boys State alum. So if anyone knows about the skills and the lifelong friendships that you’re about to make and have been making while you’re here, trust me, I’m that guy,” Fox said.

Fox was a guest at California Boys State on June 22, a quick visit to the program at the Sacramento State campus in between trips to other detachments. To the best of the Boys State staff’s knowledge, it marked the first time a sitting SAL national commander had visited California Boys State.

“I am honored to be the first,” Fox said in his speech following the swearing-in of the program’s elected state officers.

Chief counselor Tim Aboudara noted that over half of the Boys State staff are SAL members, with some being dual members in The American Legion. Aboudara said it was “a very special national commander’s homecoming.”

“He’s from California, he came back to the place where he’s an alum, and so this is a nontraditional but special homecoming where these 800 (Boys State citizens) are embracing his national service project.”

That service project, Flying Flags for Heroes, has placed over 1.3 million flags nationwide on veterans’ graves at local cemeteries. The Boys Staters added to that total on June 23, when they placed some 5,000 flags on veterans’ graves at Sacramento’s East Lawn Memorial Park.

Fox’s travel meant he couldn’t stick around for Thursday’s flag event, but during his speech the night before he encouraged the Boys Staters to show their support for veterans.

“The veterans of this great state … are now taking time out of their lives to ensure that this wonderful country has leaders for the future. So take that seriously and don’t waste it,” Fox said.

Fox also said, “This program is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so cherish your experiences and be proud that you are the one that was chosen (to attend).”

Boys Nation

Boys Nation

At Boys State / Nation, participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of city, county and state governments.

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