Retiring Old Glory gets place of rest | News, Sports, Jobs

Correspondent photo / Sean Barron
Johnathan Woody, 18, of Mineral Ridge, a member of Champion-based Boy Scout Troop 4025, stands next to a drop box for flags to be retired. The box, which Woody took on as his Eagle Scout project, is outside the Veterans Service Commission office in Youngstown.



YOUNGSTOWN — Johnathan Woody has several relatives and family members who have been in the military. That, combined with a high regard and respect for those who have served their country — and a little help from a friend — influenced his choice for an Eagle Scout project.

“I was looking for something to do,” Woody, 18, of Mineral Ridge, said. “A friend helped me with my Eagle Scout project, and he gave me the idea to do this.”

Woody, who began in Scouting when he was 7 and is a member of Champion-based Boy Scout Troop 4025, crafted a drop box that looks nearly identical to a mailbox but will be used solely for veterans and others to retire their flags. The teen also comes from a strong military family that includes his mother, Donna, who served six to seven years in the Navy, along with his grandfather and an uncle, who saw three tours of duty in Iraq.

“He wanted a project that will last and be enduring,” Woody’s father, Ray, said about the box, which is housed outside of the Veterans Service Commission office in Oakhill Renaissance Place, 345 Oak Hill Ave., on the city’s South Side.

On the converted mailbox is a painting of an eagle’s head in front of an American flag.

Ray Woody, who works for Industrial Coatings Inc., of Kansas City, Mo., credited Jim Rapone, a Marine who lives in Trumbull County, for assisting with the idea and logistics to design the box. Rapone also is active in Scouting, the elder Woody said.

The collection box effort began about a year ago but was sidelined for a while before resuming last August after the commission reopened and expressed an interest in having it, Ray Woody recalled. The project started with a mailbox that a Wisconsin-based industrial supply company sold on the internet to the family, Woody continued.

After receiving the item, the father and son got it ready for a painter to add his touches. The painter “sent us pictures to show us how it’s going,” Ray Woody said.

After that leg of the work, the project underwent a few design changes and was airbrushed before being finished last November, he added.

For Johnathan, having designed and built the drop box also may be an expression of the kind of hands-on work he seems interested in pursuing. After graduating from Mineral Ridge High School, he may enter a trade school and work for a friend’s father as a plumber, Johnathan continued.

“This box really means a lot to us and veterans who come in here and are not able to dispose of their flags in the proper way,” Felicia Harris, the Veterans Service Commission’s administrative assistant, said. “John is an excellent young man who did a wonderful job with the box.”

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