FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Scouts of Boy Scout Troop 50 and Cub Scout Pack 50 thanked garrison leadership Dec. 20 for 50 years of continuous support during a ceremony at the Wings Chapel.

Col. Brian E. Walsh, Fort Rucker garrison commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jasper C. Johnson, garrison command sergeant major, accepted a plaque from Chris Wood, Troop 50 troop master, and assembled Scouts from the post.

"It's a privilege for the sergeant major and I to receive such a plaque, and we'll proudly display it in our headquarters building," Walsh said.

"While the sergeant major and I were waiting for this evening's festivities to begin, we were talking about the pledge, and doing duty to God and country, and helping others," the colonel continued. "I'll just leave you Scouts with one thing. In order to reach a higher calling -- a higher calling to help others, and do duty to God and country -- you must be physically strong and mentally awake. Remember that."

The idea to thank the garrison for the five decades of support originated with the Scouts in Cub Scout Pack 50, Wood said.

"They spearheaded the effort to thank the garrison for allowing us to be able to have a troop and a pack on post," he said. "The biggest support we get is having a place to meet. We have a dedicated Boy Scout and Cub Scout area that we can call home -- we haven't always had that. There was a time where we didn't have any place and we did a lot of camping.

"It means a lot because we don't have to pay for storage fees and things like that," Wood continued. "All the money we raise during fundraisers can go back into the Scouts, which is what it is designed for. To the people of Fort Rucker, thank you for your support over the years, and we hope to have many more."

Wood added that the Scouts would move during the Christmas break from an old AAFES training building into the office areas of the old commissary.

And having Scouts in the community is a good thing, he said.

"Within scouting, be it Cub or Boy or Girl, you will see a commonality -- citizenship," Wood said. "Being a good citizen in the community, in the world, and things like that. Being a good citizen means helping your neighbors and not expecting a reward or payment when you do help someone."

And Fort Rucker's Scouts do just that, he added.

"Our council here, we took Scouts down to Marianna (Florida) after the hurricane, the weekend after, and while they can't run chainsaws, they can move a lot of wood -- the adults cut the trees and the Scouts moved it," the troop master said.

Some Cub Scouts also went down, he said, and "while they weren't able to do that kind of stuff, they were able to set up an area where we could get supplies and food products in. They helped the folks of the community go through and pick up canned goods and feed them.

"Scouts work hand in hand when it comes to stuff like that to build a stronger community," Wood continued. "I'm a firm believer in the program. I've been a part of for 17 years now, and I believe that the program develops good citizens and, in turn, those good citizens will be moving on and eventually running our country."

People interested in joining or getting involved with the Scouts can call the Alabama-Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of American, located in Dothan at 6108 W. Main Street, at 334-793-7882, according to Wood.