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Examiner
  • Scout never stopped by his challenges

  • After seeing an American flag worn beyond repair along the 39th Street retail corridor, James Miller-Hesseltine had the idea for his Eagle Scout project.

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  • After seeing an American flag worn beyond repair along the 39th Street retail corridor, James Miller-Hesseltine had the idea for his Eagle Scout project.
    “Really, I feel that flying a flag that is torn and faded is disgraceful,” said 17-year-old James, an Independence homeschool student and a member of Troop 206 at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.
    On Sunday, James was in charge of a public flag retirement ceremony at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1000 on U.S. 24. Ten fellow Scouts participated in the retirement of more than 300 flags, and several veterans also were in attendance, including 90-year-old World War II veteran Leonard Deschepper.
    While James has Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he and his mother, Sheryl Hesseltine, say that James has never sought any special treatment at Scouts because of his disabilities. In fact, James is working to earn his Eagle Scout before his 18th birthday on Dec. 1 without seeking an extension.
    “I’ve never had to resort to that, and I don’t want to have to do that for my Eagle, either,” James said.
    1 What did you enjoy about organizing this project?
    James: Being able to work with a lot of the people that I did. I wasn’t just honoring the flags – I was also honoring the veterans who have served.
    2 Why did you want to become an Eagle Scout since the age of 6-1/2?
    James: Really, back then, I didn’t know why – I just did. (Now), it opens certain doors, and it proves a few points.
    Sheryl: He’s very prideful. He takes pride in the fact that he’s in Scouts.
    3 What do you think Boy Scouts has been able to do for James?
    Sheryl: Scouts has been the number one thing that has been good for his socialization and to give him a variety of things to do and choose from and stick to. When other things have gone awry, he’s always had Scouts. Everything he’s learned to do in Scouts, he’s learned to do backwards, forwards, inside and out. (Laughs) He is very passionate. Once he decides to do something, he is very passionate about getting it done.
    4 What advice would you offer for those who are working to accomplish something in life?
    James: Don’t give up, and most importantly, don’t let anyone else tell you what you can and cannot do.
     
     

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