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Troop 300 shows appreciation for our veterans

Last August at the planning meeting for the themes for the months, the Scouts from Troop 300, St. Matthew Catholic Church decided that November would be “Military History and Appreciation Month.”
As the month approached, the Scouts mailed out four large care packages to two different servicemen, one in the Army from Spruce Creek and a Marine from Bellwood. The packages were filled with snacks, puzzle books, letters and phone cards. The Scouts wanted to show their appreciation to these active servicemen for the numerous sacrifices they are making.
At the first monthly meeting Dave Woleslagle, Assistant Scoutmaster gave a stirring talk to the Scouts about their rights and the freedoms that we enjoy because of our dedicated soldiers. Mr. Woleslagle recently returned from his tour of duty as a medic from Iraq. Last Thursday night Jack Makdad, who served as a helicopter pilot during the first Persian Gulf conflict spoke for nearly one half hour about his tour of duty. Lieutenant Makdad gave an awesome presentation connecting how the very skills taught in Boy Scouts mirror the skills and ideals of the military. Mr. Makdad told the Scouts that the largest demographic unit among pilots is that of the rank of Eagle Scout. He also showed his gear, flight suits, helmet and log books, much to the interest of the troop.
On Saturday the Scouts participated in the Scouting for Food Drive, along with the other Troops and Packs in Tyrone, by distributing door hangers. After door hanger distribution the Scouts gathered at Soldiers Park, and had lunch. Logan Harper, one of the Troop’s newest Eagle Scouts showed his fellow Scouts his project at Soldiers Park which infused over $2,000 plus labor to provide a picnic table, a park bench, and trash can. Logan also explained how he did his fund raising for these much needed improvements for this park that is dedicated to the Veterans of Tyrone. After lunch the Scouts visited Tyler Poorman’s project at the Fire Police building, where Tyler, another one of Troop 300’s newest Eagle Scouts outlined the work he did for this outstanding organization.
The Scouts headed to Altoona to the “Wall That Heals” in front of the Veterans Hospital. The Scouts quietly meditated on the sacrifices that these men (some only a couple of years older than these Scouts) made in the defense of our country. The Scouts visited the Welcome Center and gathered some new found knowledge on the personal history of these men who gave “the last full measure” in the defense of our nation. This is the 25th Anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. The Scouts also toured the lobby of the Veterans Hospital, and expressed their gratitude to the veterans there for their numerous sacrifices.
The Scouts then went to the Veterans Home in Hollidaysburg. Last year the Scouts adopted the gardens and the reflection pools as a long term service project. The Scouts spent almost two hours raking, sweeping, pulling weeds and flowers in preparing this area for the upcoming winter. After returning the tools, and checking out the tank on the grounds the Scouts headed to Camp Anderson for a night of camping.
While the campfire brightly glowed as dusk was setting in, the Boy Scouts had a flag retirement ceremony. The boys had gathered a large amount of worn flags, which needed a fitting and proper retirement. The flags were retired in a dignified and proper manner, and after a moment of silence, the Scouts returned to their duties. The Scouts set up camp, cooked supper and after a relaxing evening around the campfire headed to bed in the chilly night at Camp Anderson.
Troop 300 woke up early on November 11, broke camp and headed to their warm and comfortable homes with a new found appreciation for the dedicated men and women who have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy.
Ryan Isenberg, Matt Briggs, Mike Isola and Anthony Wiser are shown distributing door hangers for the Food Drive on Saturday.
Troop 300 Scouts had lunch at Soldiers Park to kick off their Veterans Weekend Celebration. Eagle Scout Logan Harper provided over $2,000 worth of upgrades to this park which honors the servicemen of Tyrone.
Scouts Simon Wilson, Ryan Isenberg, Anthony Wiser and Chris Kirkpatrick are shown retiring the worn American flags at Camp Anderson.