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Four Victoria relatives become Eagle Scouts

By Jessica Priest
Aug. 7, 2014 at 6:12 p.m.


Other Eagle Scouts in the La Salle District in 2014

• Christopher Carlos Gutierrez, of Goliad

• Tyler Scott Cook, of Victoria

• Zachary Lawrence McBrayer, of Victoria

• Stephen David Sparks, of Victoria

• Thomas Colden Gillett, of Victoria

• Gregory Michael McCarthy, of Victoria

• Baxter D. Bradicich, of Victoria

• Hunter McCrae Keszler, of Ganado

• Justin Daniel Fierova, of Woodsboro

• Joseph Michael Garza, of Port Lavaca

• Konnor Benjamin Smith, of Port Lavaca

Tristan Shay Freeman, of Port Lavaca

SOURCE: BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

Famous Eagle Scouts

• Neil Armstrong - astronaut, first man on moon

• Gerald Ford - U.S. president

• Rick Perry - Texas governor

Mike Rowe - Star of "Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe" on the Discovery Channel

SOURCE: U.S. Scouting Service Project

Four relatives are sharing more than just a bloodline.

Now, they're all Eagle Scouts.

"Only 4 percent of all Scouts make it to Eagle," Rey Rosas, the scoutmaster for Troop 364, said before an Eagle Court of Honor got underway at Our Lady of Victory earlier this week. "This is unique."

One set of brothers improved a local gun range while another set - their cousins - beautified the Holy Family Catholic Church.

The Rev. Dan Morales thanked them - and their parents - for their hard work.

"The boys worked very hard individually, but they also worked very hard together," Morales said.

Jay Howard, the father of Sam, 17, and John, 14, is the unit commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America's La Salle District.

But he never became an Eagle Scout.

"I got interested in girls and football, and then, my Scouting career ended right there. I wanted to make sure they got the opportunity to finish something that I didn't," he said.

Jess Howard, the father of Jack, 15, and Grayson, 14, wasn't an Eagle Scout either.

"I didn't stay with it, and I always regretted it," he said.

In addition to completing a project, Eagle Scouts are required to earn 21 merit badges and undergo close to a three-hour interview.

The Howard boys join 12 others who became Eagle Scouts in 2014 in the five-county region.

Here's what they had to say about the achievement:

Sam Howard, 17

Senior at St. Joseph High School

Parents: Jay and Annette Howard

Sam wants to pursue a career in the legal or medical field.

PROJECT: Built gun racks

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF THE PROJECT? The weather. We worked on it on a weekend in November. ... It would just start pouring, and we would have to cut all the power tools off and wait until it stopped.

WHY DID YOU CHOSE THIS PROJECT? My dad helps teach classes at the gun range. ... It was a very unsafe environment with setting guns on the table and on the floor. They thought it would be really convenient to have gun racks that were lightweight and could unfold. ...We looked up a bunch of different designs on the Internet and combined two designs and put a hinge on it so you can unfold it and fold it.

Jack Howard, 15

Sophomore at St. Joseph High School

Parents: Jess and Dana Howard

Jack wants to attend film school after he graduates. His favorite director is Steven Spielberg, who is also an Eagle Scout. His favorite genre of film is science fiction.

PROJECT: Landscaped a prayer garden by pulling up grass and planting Savannah hollies and Japanese blueberry bushes.

WHY DO YOU ENJOY BOY SCOUTS? When I was 11, I wanted to join. I thought it would be fun. Then, I started learning life skills, survival skills, citizenship skills and learning the world does not revolve around you.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BECOMING AN EAGLE SCOUT? It's one of the biggest accomplishments I will ever make.

Grayson Howard, 14

Freshman at St. Joseph High School

Parents: Jess and Dana Howard

Grayson wants to attend Texas A&M University and become a music producer. He started playing guitar when he was 12 years old.

PROJECT: Built a meditating area within the prayer garden at Holy Family Church by excavating the land near a statute of Jesus and installing white flagstone and a bench.

WHY DO YOU ENJOY BEING IN BOY SCOUTS? Campouts are fun every now and then. I like the man skills. ... There is a difference between being a male and being a man, and that's what Boy Scouts teaches you.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BECOMING AN EAGLE SCOUT? It's a huge relief. I'm going to stay active in Scouts, but that's the main thing you can get to and once you're there, it takes a lot of pressure off of you. ... It's something that you can put on college resumes, tell your friends about and brag about your whole life, I guess.

John Howard, 14

Freshmen at St. Joseph High School

Parents: Jay Howard and Annette Howard

John wants to join the military after high school.

PROJECT: Cut squares, circles and triangles into a 5-foot wooden board to make gun barricades for target practice.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF THE PROJECT? Teaching my cousins how to use the certain types of saws and how to do it correctly without messing up the barricades.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT BECOMING AN EAGLE SCOUT? I think that it's a great achievement but also a great responsibility because now it is more important for me to be there and help the younger kids.

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