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December 7, 2012

Two local boy scouts earn the high rank of Eagle Scout

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Diane Betzler
Associated Press



Two local youths transitioned from boys to young men when they achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America organization.

Dylan Swenson and Ben Wright, both 17, shared the achievements that won them their hard-earned Eagle Scout rank Nov. 28, when they previewed their service projects at the William J. Pete Knight Veterans Home in Lancaster, Calif.

Each young man had to plan, organize, lead and manage a project that neither had ever attempted before and they both chose the local veteransí home as the site for their labors.

Swenson’s project was to oversee the construction of a large fire pit that was built at a designated courtyard at the home ó the pit is now one of several sites for retiring old and worn out American flags.

To compliment Swensonís project, Wright oversaw the construction of a concrete walkway leading to the fire pit.

The young men were joined by many local citizens who came out to share in their glory and cheer them on as they and about 14 fellow Boys Scouts from Troup 247 demonstrated the correct way to dispose of old and tattered American flags.

Also attending the retirement ceremony was Gail Knight, whose late husband [William J. Peteî Knight] was an honored war hero, a famous test pilot and a local politician. Doug Burgis, president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and Pat Murray from Marine Corps League, Antelope Valley Detachment 930 also honored the scouts by attending the event.

Referring to the flag as ìOld Glory,î Swenson asked all Americans to honor and defend her.

As the boys placed flags into the burning pit each scout gave a final salute to Old Glory and the ritual continued until all tattered flags were properly retired.

Swenson said later that the completion of his project lifted a lot of weight from his shoulders. He said he was happy about achieving his new rank.
Wright said building the cement path was a huge accomplishment. He said he plans to continue to make improvements to the fire pit courtyard at the local veteransí home.




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