DUNWOODY, Ga. — The chapel of the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center filled with families on hand to honor their fallen loved ones during the Last Roll Call ceremony July 23.
Dunwoody Eagle Scout Emerson Doolittle, a rising senior at Dunwoody High School, did his part to help the VA Medical Center honor the families. For his Eagle Scout Project, Doolittle made 30 triangular flag cases for veterans’ families, which he distributed personally at the ceremony.
Each case is constructed of maple wood and glass.
It took Doolittle and his troop members about 200 hours to finish all 30 cases, he said. He got the idea to make the flag cases from his sister, Taylor Doolittle, who volunteers at the VA Medical Center. Those at the center told him that they could use flag cases because they have so many families who can’t afford a display to honor their loved ones.
Doolittle has been a scout since 6th grade and said it has been his lifelong dream to become an Eagle Scout.
“The military burial flag honors a veteran and their surviving family,” Doolittle said. “Both the deceased veteran and the family have made a sacrifice for their country, and the flag is a memorial to that sacrifice.”
The VA told him that families often lose the burial flag if they don’t have a safe place to keep it, and a display is one of the most requested items at its facility.
Doolittle wasn’t a skilled woodworker when he took on the project, he said, but his dad and troop members helped him along the way with three full-troop work days
Doolittle also has a passion for computers, and has earned top salesman at his local Best Buy.
“I just went up to the general manager and asked him if I could get a job, because I love technology,” he said.
He also has an internship at Morgan Stanley this summer. He is especially interested in stocks, and has been doing extensive research in that field, he said.
“Making flag cases for these veterans’ families is my way of honoring my country and thanking veterans for their service,” Doolittle said.