7 On Your Side: Lifelong Boy Scout needs help to make Eagle

BRICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- It's a very big deal. The Eagle Scout rank counts among its members Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.

Former President Gerald Ford was an Eagle Scout, and so are film director Steven Spielberg and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Having Eagle Scout on your resume can open doors personally and professionally. So when a local scout hit a roadblock we rushed to his rescue.

15 Purple Heart parking spots are now reserved for Wounded Warriors at parks and near buildings in Joseph Battiato's hometown of Brick, New Jersey.

"I thought this was something not only to give back to the community but to those who served our country," said Battiato. "It was really about the respect. Even if they were wounded and they can walk now they have a spot for themselves now."

The project was a badge of honor, Eagle Scout-honor for Joe, after years of public service which began as a Cub Scout.

"You start as a tiger cub, then bear," said Joe. Then you go to this, which is the Webelo."

He worked his way through the ranks with local troop 163. But when it came time to get pinned with the highest rank a scout can achieve: "It was really upsetting to work for 13 years for something and then to not get it," said Joe.

Joseph's application was denied because his troop leader never re-registered the troop last year - a $33 per scout fee.

The family says troop leaders didn't tell them the registration paperwork was never submitted. They appealed to the council, with letters and photos of Joe's Eagle Scout project for veterans.

"They said there's nothing we can do, he wasn't registered," said Joe's mom Linda.

"It's a rule, we have to respect the rules of Boy Scouts," said Joe.

Joe moved on and went off to college. It was his little sister Victoria, who attended countless scout events with her brother and helped with the Eagle project who contacted 7 On Your Side.

"I wanted justice for him. I didn't think it was fair at all. I wanted it for him," said Victoria Battiato.

We appealed to the Boy Scouts local and national office on Joseph's behalf.

"I'm gonna be an Eagle Scout, finally it's actually happening," beamed Joe.

The scouts retroactively registered him. After putting his heart into serving his community, finally he has wings so this scout can continue to soar..

The Boy Scouts of America said "it greatly appreciates" Joe's positive impact on scouting and his community. On the 14th of this month, Joe is scheduled to go before a three-person Eagle Scout Review Board. We're told this is just a final formality. And after this one-hour meeting Joe will formally be made Eagle Scout.


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