Eagle Scouts Honored for Their Projects
Four Eagle Scouts from western Steuben County were honored for their contributions to a small community Saturday.
Down Routes 417 and 248 sit the towns of West Union and Rexville. With a combined population around 400, they are a slice of rural America. Love of country and community grows strong among these quiet hills, and Saturday that community honored four Eagle Scouts for their work.
“[It] really helped this community out,” said John Smith, one of the Eagle Scouts who was honored. “It’s amazing, in just a few years, how much this community has changed for the better.”
Smith, Blake Matacale, and Sean Heckman were honored by the town for the Eagle Scout projects, which were signs at the fire hall and town hall, a pavilion for families, and a stone memorial to honor veterans of past wars. Saturday, a grateful community said thank you.
“I didn’t expect it to be this big or this nice, but it was a real honor to be able to do this for the community,” said Matacale.
“It means a whole lot to me,” said Heckman. “We put together all these projects and it means a whole lot for everyone to come out and honor the veterans and honor the Eagle Scouts.” With Veterans Day on Monday, the town honored local veterans as they dedicated the memorial. State Senator Tom O’Mara read a quote from George Washington during the ceremony.
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation,” read Senator O’Mara.
Those words hold true for Sean Heckman. He leaves for basic training with the Air Force in just a few weeks. After the ceremony, he had a message for scouts still in the program. “I’ve talked to a few different younger scouts, and I always tell them to stick it through because it's a very honorable thing. It's something to be proud of, that's for sure,” said Heckman.
Something to be proud of, from a town that’s very proud of him.