CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – James Besten, a Bridgeport Boy Scout from Troop 40, presented 250 flag stands to the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center Friday.
In the lobby of the medical center, Besten and officials held brief remarks and presented stands to veterans, representing each branch of the armed forces. The medical center recently implemented the daily playing of the national anthem and has partnered with the community to provide desks flags for employees throughout the campus.
“With my dad and grandad being veterans, it’s definitely nice to see smiles on veterans’ faces whenever they see this, and they see that it was done by an Eagle Scout for Bridgeport, also a workers son, a veteran’s son,” said Besten. “And I just think that is very touching how that is what I can think of from here on out is putting smiles on people’s faces.”
Besten made the stands with his fellow scouts and said that he hopes it means more to the veterans, knowing that they came from one of the medical workers’ sons. Both Besten’s father and grandfather served in the U.S. Air Force.
“I think it’s an honor to be able to come here, present these to the veterans,” Besten said. “My dad actually told me that they play the national anthem in the morning, every morning at 8 a.m. and they salute the flag. The desktop ones that they have currently, and I just thought it would be nice to replace them and have something more appealing to the eye.”
Besten said that he spent approximately 80 hours building the stands, working on them on weekends all while studying for high school and working a part-time job. He used the time spent on the project to bond with his dad.
Both Home Depot and Lowes hardware stores made donations to Besten as well as others who made monetary donations to help with the project.