Since the program's inception in 1911, only four percent of Boy Scouts have gone on to attain the rank of Eagle Scout. Early's Ryan LeMond, a member of Troop 14, has only paperwork, his Eagle application and an appearance before the Eagle board of review remaining after completing his leadership community service project Saturday morning at the Brownwood American Legion building.
LeMond, with the help of other Boy Scouts Troop 14 members and leaders, installed a flag depository for those that need to be retired, as well as signage on the front of the American Legion building, located at 2710 Crockett Drive.
“We found this idea surfing a website with all these Eagle Scouts projects and realized we didn't have any of these in town,” LeMond said. “I remember when I was a little Cub scout years ago we'd have people bring them to us constantly. I thought this would be a really nice idea.”
LeMond and fellow Troop 14 members have spent the last couple of months piecing the project together. LeMond drew out the plans for the box, which was built with the help of a number of sponsors. And a committee worked on the content of the sign, which provide facts about the United States flag, that now adorns the building.
“I started with the idea around the end of the school year, the beginning of the summer,” LeMond said. “It makes me happy when we do Eagle Scout projects like this to see everyone come together. When I was Cub coming up I enjoyed helping with Eagles Scout projects. Hopefully one day if I'm still around I can help any of these guys with their projects.”
To achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout needs 21 merit badges, including 13 specifically required to become an Eagle, and a minimum of six months as a Life Scout to go along with the community service project.
“I've been a scout for 12 or 13 years and it's all led up to this experience,” LeMond said. “There's been a lot of ups and downs, constantly trying to stay on task, but this will be one of the biggest accomplishments of my life because of how long I've worked for this goal.”
James Masters, VFW Post 3278 Commander, was on hand for the dedication ceremony Saturday morning, as was Military and Family Support Group member Joyce Leidig, who placed the first worn flag in the new depository. Also, LeMond thanked his parents — James and Julie LeMond — fellow troop members, troop leaders and sponsors for their assistance.
“All the sponsors were really helpful,” LeMond said. “We had a family friend, Tim Morris with Mow Pros, that I used to work for help sponsor the sign. Weakley-Watson Hardware came through with the bolts, nuts and concrete and that was really nice of them. Ratliff Steel donated and cut all the steel and we're grateful for that. And Abilene Power Coating did the powder coating for free.”
Many community members also lent supplies, including a concrete mixer to mix the concrete for the slab that was laid a week prior to Saturday's completion of the project.