Veterans luncheon helps McDonough earn Eagle Scout Award

Days before his 18th birthday, Brendon McDonough completed his Eagle Scout project. (Photo submitted)

With a passion for service and veterans, McDonough planned and carried out a veterans appreciation luncheon in October. McDonough plans to enter the Marines following graduation. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Six days before his 18th birthday, Monticello High School senior Brendon McDonough completed his Eagle Scout project.

     While McDonough waits to have his Court of Honor ceremony, he’s glad to have accomplished this momentous milestone.

     “It feels good knowing the work and dedication I put into it,” he said.

     With an interest and plans to join the U.S. Marines, McDonough knew he wanted to do something for his Eagle Scout project to benefit local veterans.

     “I wanted to show support for them,” he said.

     In the end, McDonough decided to host a veterans appreciation lunch inside the Legion hall.

     “I brought the idea up and it was accepted,” he said.

     Initially, though, McDonough had a handful of other ideas for this project, but they didn’t pan out. A couple of those ideas included painting parking lines on Third Street between Sacred Heart School and Parish, as well as building a gaga ball pit for Sacred Heart School.

     “It was a liability issue,” explained McDonough.

     Knowing his plan to host a spaghetti luncheon for veterans, McDonough’s original thought was to have it on Memorial Day. He attended a meeting with the Legion and presented his idea.

     “They jumped all over it,” Larry McDonough, his father, said.

     With the event approved back in March, COVID-19 hit and shut everything down.

     Finally by October, McDonough felt it was safe enough to have the luncheon, serving about a couple dozen veterans and their families.

     “We waited as long as we possibly could,” said McDonough of the timeframe. (Scouts must complete their Eagle projects before their 18th birthday.)

     He had assistance from family and his fellow Scouts in Troop 66. The event was such a hit that the troop is considering hosting it on an annual basis.

     While McDonough has helped his troop host smaller events in the past, this was the first big event he planned and carried out on his own.

     Aside from those who attended in-person, McDonough also offered carry-outs for those who felt safer eating at home.

     To show their appreciation, some of the veterans offered free-will donations. That money will be donated to the local food pantry.

     McDonough has been in Scouts since he was in third grade.

     “Scouts does a lot more for you outside of Scouting,” he explained. “It shows that I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort.”

     With his hope of joining the Marines, McDonough said after basic training, his Eagle Scout Award means an automatic advancement in rank and pay.

     “Scouts has opened a lot of doors for me,” continued McDonough.

     He’s been able to attend the National Jamboree n West Virginia, meeting Scouts and people from all over the world.

     “I’ve gotten to know a lot of the different sides of Scouts,” said McDonough.

     He’s also enjoyed the campout events through the years.

     McDonough graduates early from MHS in December. He plans to take a year off before enlisting.

     McDonough is the son of Larry McDonough and Heather Hawkins.


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