To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, a Boy Scout has to complete a project that has some kind of benefit to his community.
Joey Rhodens Eagle Scout project actually has two kinds of benefits: to remember and to remind.
Rhoden, who will be entering ninth grade at Houston County High School this fall, is a member of Troop 550 sponsored by Christ United Methodist Church, and also serves the troop as Senior Patrol Leader. When it came time for him to select his Eagle Scout project, Rhoden knew immediately he wanted his project to reflect his own patriotism.
I knew that I wanted to do something to help the military and our veterans, he said. I got to thinking about different ideas and realized that there was nothing in our area in honor of the wounded warriors.
So for his project, Rhoden led a group of volunteers to build a visitor shelter gazebo on the grounds of the Museum of Aviation. At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Rhoden is leading a dedication ceremony for the gazebo In Honor of Wounded Warriors. The public is invited to attend.
At the dedication ceremony will be Army Capt. Joseph Caley, who was injured while serving in Iraq.
It means a lot that he will be there, Rhoden said. All the work we put into the project honors him and all the other wounded warriors. Wounded warriors display dedication, honor and are fearless. They are willing to help others, to serve others, and they dont think twice about it. They just do it automatically. They gave up a lot for us. We should do the same in return.
Rhoden said Caley is the perfect example of the dedication of the American soldier. In 2009, Caley was helping a group of Iraqi civilians injured in an explosion when a second explosion injured him. He suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as injuries to both his legs. He had to learn how to walk again. He now is involved with helping other wounded troops with their own rehabilitation through adaptive golf.
In a news release about the event, Garret Williams, Central Georgia Council Scout Executive said, The In Honor of Wounded Warriors Eagle Scout project typifies the respect and loyalty that our Scouts have for those men and women who serve in our armed forces. Giving service over self to ensure that as citizens of the United States of America, our freedoms are protected.
Along with serving as a place of honor for those who have been wounded during war, Rhoden hopes the gazebo will serve as a reminder to the general public.
Freedom is not free, he said. There is a price to it. I hope that people will remember the price that has been paid and all the veterans that have been wounded.
Contact Alline Kent at 396-2467 or email@example.com.