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Jeff Bradley became a member of the Boy Scouts of America 11 years ago. He is 17 now, a senior at Vandalia Community High School and an Eagle Scout.
Bradley has earned the required 21 merit badges, and for his Eagle project, he provided a new sign for the Brownstown VFW Post 9770.
He explained the selection of the project.
“We drive by here a lot, and I always noticed that their VFW sign was bent.
“I was looking for an Eagle Scout project and, as we drove by the sign, I thought I’d give them a new sign, something to be proud of.
"So I found a guy in Vandalia that would paint the sign at cost for the Scouts. He did a great job,” he said.
Jeff began to collect money for the sign. “I went around to local businesses and a couple of churches in Vandalia, and they stepped up and gave me what I needed,” he said.
Having earned the required number of badges, he’s ready for the next step in Scouting.
“I’ll have my board of review next, and then I’ll start trying to give back to the community for what they have given to me,” Jeff said.
The many patches on his uniform shirt include the Order of the Arrow, a group in Scouting into which they have to be elected.
Jeff highly recommends Scouting for young people.
“Scouting has helped me so much. It has gotten me to where I am today, and helped prepare me for the future,” he said.
“It is one of the most respected civilian organizations there is, and it helps a lot with anything you want to do with your life.
“The Scout badge is only civilian badge you can earn that is worn on a military uniform. It is a good reference,” he said.
Jeff’s father, Steven Bradley, was his Scoutmaster previously. Keith Cox is now theScoutmaster.
His brother, Robert Bradley, has been in Scouts for several years.
He acknowledges Cox’s assistance in his work toward becoming an Eagle Scout, and also credits his fellow Scouts.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Jeff said.
His hobbies include hunting, fishing and soccer.
He plans to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and make the Navy his career. Jeff is an exemplary young man, courteous and respectful, with a friendly manner and intelligent, sincere conversation. It is likely that he will deserve “merit badges” throughout his life’s journey.
Members of VFW Post 9770 presented Jeff with a silver eagle statue as a token of their appreciation, and they are very proud of their new VFW sign.