Eagle Scout project to help masonry student in the Army
By Josette Keelor
When Dustin Hockman had to come up with an idea for his Eagle Scout project, his choice was pretty clear.
Already a volunteer with the Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department, he said, he noticed they needed a new sign. So he built one.
"The old one had just metal legs it was sitting on," said Hockman, 18, now a senior member of the department after having volunteered since he was 16.
The new sign is fancier, he said, with a brick platform.
Building the platform might seem like a tough project for a high school student, but Hockman has extensive experience with masonry.
"I was in the Triplett Tech mason class, and then I did a competition and won regions and then I went to state and won state," he said.
Then he placed fifth in a national competition in masonry, out of 32 participants, he said.
Completing the sign-building project in March, he said, he soon will receive his award -- the highest that the Boy Scouts of America offer.
It's tough to achieve but comes with many benefits, like scholarship money for many colleges and universities.
When Hockman joins the Army Reserves next month, it will help him move up one extra pay grade, he said.
Planning to leave on Nov. 20 for Fort Jackson, S.C., Hockman will spend 10 weeks there before heading to Fort Lee, Va., to become a patrol and supply specialist.
He said he joined the Army to earn money for college.
Hockman said the Eagle Scout award has been a long time in coming.
"It's just something I looked forward to working for," he said.
"It's something that I'm glad I stuck to and didn't quit."
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org