650 young men were in attendance at Oklahoma Boys State

Drawing on his own life experiences, longtime news anchor and retired U.S. Navy Captain George Tomek urged attendees at the American Legion-sponsored Oklahoma Boys State 2010 to do their best at everything no matter how small the task and learn by their mistakes – like he had to do. Tomek delivered the keynote address the evening of May 30th. Other speakers during the annual week-long meeting at Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma were Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, former Governor George Nigh and State Supreme Court Justice Marion Opala.

“This isn’t a dress rehearsal,” Tomek recalled syndicated advice columnist Ann Landers telling his junior classmates at an Oak Park High School assembly years ago in suburban Chicago. And, he preached ethics and taking responsibilities, pointing out well-publicized criticism of both politicians and the media. “You don’t have a right to criticize if you don’t vote in the political process,” Tomek said, adding the late Paul Harvey wryly pointed out once that “we editorialize every time we throw a story in the waste basket instead of using it on the air.”

The more than 650 young men in attendance were told to look at spending some time in a Third World atmosphere. Also, consider public service or the military as a career because many of the most successful business men and women today use the same principles of leadership employed by the armed forces. The crowd was reminded of the current recession and the lack of confidence by the public in national leaders. “We have problems, we’ve had problems in the past, Tomek said, ‘but we’ve gotten through thanks to the American people.” The young men were told they could be part of the answer and that’s why their “future is now.”

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