By Bill Tamburrino
Travis Stevens is going through the final stages of obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America. He has earned 24 merit badges and just completed his Eagle Scout project.
An Eagle Scout project must serve the community. It cannot benefit the scout or his troop. Travis is a member of Ramona Boy Scout Troop 679.
For his project Travis, a Ramona High School Class of 2012 graduate, built an illuminated flagpole for Grace Community Church. On Sunday there was a ceremony dedicating the flagpole.
Between two patriotic services organized by Dale Timblin and Mike Ernst at Grace Community Church, the flagpole was dedicated. Bill Stevens, a Troop 679 Scout leader, was master of ceremonies. Travis gave a brief speech and then Stevens introduced 90-year-old Stu Headley, a veteran and survivor of Pearl Harbor. Headley was serving on the USS West Virginia when the attack took place on Dec. 7, 1941. His speech had a patriotic and religious theme.
Four Eagle Scouts from the troop — Alec Richardson, Brendan Ryan, Thomas Cook and
Ted Dean — then raised the U.S. flag.
The project was dedicated to Walt Stevens, Travis’ grandfather, and to all of the men and women of Grace Community Church who have served in the U.S. military. Walt Stevens served in WWII and Korea and at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
The ceremony ended with Al Bodenlos, a Pearl Harbor survivor and veteran who was with the 7th Army Air Group at Wheeler Air Base in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, presenting Travis and Troop 679 with a U.S. flag that was flown at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Bodenlos is 92.
Three veterans spoke at the two patriotic services in Grace Community on Sunday morning: Ken Dower, a Marine veteran who served in Korea at the Chosin Reservoir (The Frozen Chosen); Bruce Bender, a Marine who served in the Pacific in WWII and fought at Guadalcanal, Kwajalein Atoll, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima, and in Korea in the Battle of Pusan and the amphibious landing at Inchon; and Vance Adams, an Army veteran of Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where he was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.