By CHERYL RODEWIG, The BayonetMay 20, 2010
FORT BENNING, Ga. - Fort Benning Soldiers convalescing from mental or physical trauma at the Warrior Transition Battalion now have a well-manicured and welcoming outdoor area to relax in, thanks to the efforts of Anthony Montgomery Jr.
Montgomery, a member of Boy Scout Troop 27, completed a landscaping project outside the battalion headquarters as his final step toward earning his Eagle Scout badge. He became an Eagle Scout March 11 and was honored at the troop's award ceremony May 12.
Last year, when he first started discussing ideas for his project with WTB commander and then-Scoutmaster LTC Sean Mulcahey, Montgomery knew he wanted it to be something that would benefit Soldiers on post, he said.
"I was just showing my appreciation for everything Fort Benning has done," said the 18-year-old, who lived on the installation for several years before moving off post. "The military provided my family a wonderful home on post. They also provided extra activities, such as Child, Youth (& School) Services ... a Boy Scout troop (and) programs when my dad was overseas, to help me."
To return the favor, Montgomery spent weeks planning and laying out his project, which included a path from the WTB headquarters to the adjacent post housing, a picnic table and planting several bushes, trees and flowers.
"It really represents an enhanced area beautification," Mulcahey said. "Our goal here at the WTB has been to continue to build a campus-like environment for Soldiers going through the healing and recovery process. (This project) adds a huge benefit, just for the Soldiers' well-being and ... quality of life."
The project took a lot of in-depth and independent preparation, he said, but Anthony was up to the challenge.
"He wanted his project to be something that was meaningful to our Soldiers," Mulcahey said. "It required some planning. You can't just dig holes on Fort Benning. You have to coordinate with the utilities ... coordinate for all the materials (and) for volunteers. It was definitely an undertaking for an Eagle Scout, (but) it turned out great."
Montgomery said he was glad he could help wounded warriors, so they would know "people do think about them, people do care."
"When I drive by, when I walk by, I get happy thinking this is what I did, this is what my troop helped me do," he said. "At first, I was kind of overwhelmed with the project, but ... it really showed me leadership, how to be organized and time management. If you're time-committed, you get stuff done. You just have to go all into it. This is one thing I'm always going to cherish and remember. It was a milestone."