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Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016

Monett Eagle Scout creates new drop-off box for flags

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Monett's veterans organizations had representatives on hand at the American Legion Home to dedicate a new drop-off box for American flags that need to be retired. Pictured at right, n the front row, from left, are: Dennis Housman, commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 64; Terry Clay, commander of Tom Wolfe Memorial Post 4207, VFW; Eagle Scout Geoff Bowsher, who created the box; Charlie Locher, Scout Leader; Randy Branum, Legion Post vice commander and flag retirement chairman; Nick Sczenski, Legion commander; and Dan Musgrove, Legion Post sergeant at arms. Back row: Dick Gibson, VFW Post; John Boucher, VFW Post; Dayton Mackey, past Legion Post commander; Bill Modglin, VFW Post; and Richard Redshaw, VFW Post. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Monett veterans have a new resource to help them retire United States flags and a convenient way for the public to submit worn flags for disposal.

Geoff Bowsher, an Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 38 and son of Rusty and Regina Bowsher, of Monett, prepared a drop box for flag retirement as his Eagle Scout project. The box has been mounted on the sidewalk in front of the American Legion Home at 715 E. Broadway.

Bowsher has been involved with the annual flag retirement ceremony conducted by Hobbs-Anderson American Legion Post 91 since he joined Cub Scout Pack 140 in second grade.

Flags have been turned in for retirement to Scout leaders, veterans, and at Top Hat and Dutch Maid Cleaners for years. No central place for submitting flags had ever been established.

"The idea popped into my head," Bowsher said. "It sounded like a good idea and a good way to respect the American flag."

"We saw other communities with drop-off boxes," said Charlie Locher, Scout leader for Troop 38. "It's been a very successful undertaking."

Representatives from all the veterans organizations gathered for a formal dedication of the drop box. Donations of flags for retirement filled the box in less than two months.

Locher said the Scouts hope to get a second box completed that can be placed at another major public facility in town.

"The flag retirement pit needs to be enlarged," Locher said. "We hope we can find an Eagle Scout candidate to work on it in the next year or so."

Dayton Mackey, past Legion Post commander, said many flag poles are vacant in Monett at the present time and others have frayed flags. He said this would be a good time to retire old flags and put up new ones.

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