80-Year-Old Man, Who Was Once A Boy Scout, Receives Eagle Scout Rank 62 Years Later

“I’m still amazed that all of this happened."

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Fort Wayne man said he’s amazed to have earned the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 80.

Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout every year, but it is rare for them to be awarded the achievement decades after earning it. But it happened in the case of Edwin Keller.

Keller joined the Boy Scouts of America when he was 11-years old and was active in the organization through high school, WANE-TV reported. In 1858, when he turned 18, Keller traded his Boy Scouts uniform for a military uniform, but he never forgot his many years with the scouts.

“I had thought sometimes I had enough merit badges, I said I should’ve got Eagle Scout,” Keller said.

Scouts Executive John Gliot said he was nominated to become an Eagle Scout, but the paperwork was sent while he was serving in the military.

“Evidently, his mother got the paperwork, put it in an envelope, put it in a file somewhere, and it got forgotten about,” Gilot said.

After the death of his mother in 2003, the paperwork turned up.

“My sister gave it to me in 2003, so that’s the first time I had seen the letter,” Keller said. “[1958] to 2003, that’s quite a long time. So I said, can probably forget about that.”

Recently, on a whim, Keller told WANE-TV he decided to look into it.

“The young lady said let’s go down to the basement and check the records,” Keller said. “So, we went down into the basement and she said, yep, Troop Five, Franklin School, here it is.”

From there, the council sent the paperwork to the National Boy Scouts Council where a special committee looked at all of the details of Keller’s situation and approved him for a special exception 62 years later. Keller expected he would simply pick the award up from the Fort Wayne Boy Scout offices, but the council felt that since only four percent of scouts earn the Eagle rank, Keller deserved the same ceremony and recognition other Eagle Scouts get, WANE-TV reported.

“I’m still amazed that all of this happened,” Keller said.