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Eagle Scouts, longtime leaders recognized
Members of the West Chatham Detachment of the Marine Corps League greet local Eagle scouts. Each Eagle scout was presented with a Challenge Coin and the Marine Corps Good Citizenship Award. - photo by Photo provided

Commandant Bobby Edwards and four other members of the Marine Corps League West Chatham Detachment No. 1326 gathered at St. John Lutheran’s Church in Rincon to honor the Eagle Scout class of 2013 from the Twin Rivers District.

The scouts were awarded the Marine Corps Good Citizenship Award for their service to the community. Each of the 12 Eagle Scouts planned and carried out a substantial service project. Edwards also presented each Eagle Scout with the newly-developed Challenge Coin, which has the Marine Corps logo on one side and the Eagle Scout medal on the other. The commandant challenged each of them to continue their good works.

The Marine Corps League West Chatham Detachment has honored more Eagle Scouts locally than any other detachment in the state, Edwards said. He also announced the first Meritorious Service Commendation given to a civilian in the state, which was given to Michelle Patterson. Patterson has spent 23 years working with Effingham County kids.

The second Meritorious Service Commendation was given to Frank Patterson for his 20 years of service. As Scout parents and leaders, the Pattersons have spent most of their lives serving the young people in the community, Edwards said.

“I was thrilled to see Ms. Michelle honored in such a manner,” Frank Patterson said. “She has been there since day one, helping with pack and troop operations. She started our oldest son in Cub Scouts in 1990 and immediately volunteered to be a leader. I, on the other hand, was content to just be the dad, but I promised her if the boys wanted to be Boy Scouts, I would help them. Several years later, I volunteered to reorganize the Boy Scout troop and have been serving there ever since.

“Michelle asked if I knew it was coming, and I said, ‘no.’ We were both caught completely off-guard and thrilled to be honored by the Marine Corps League in such a manner. We have nine troops, eight packs and two Venture Crews operating in our district. Within the age groups, we have a lot of good scout leaders trying to make a difference in the lives of our young people. It is important that we take the time to say ‘thank you’ for what you do, to all of them.”

The Scouts also expressed their gratitude to Rev. Patrick Finley of St. John’s Lutheran Church for hosting the event.