Boy Scouts of America Troop 23 and local veterans organizations have worked together for years in community and patriotic projects. Recently the veterans and the scouts were able to serve each other.

Troop 23 was chartered in June, 1956. Since that time an impressive record of service has been compiled by the troop.

A recent example of service was at the Four Chaplains Memorial Service Feb. 7 at VFW Post 9854 in Vinton. The service was held in memory of the sacrifice of four chaplains from different faiths who sacrificed their lives by giving up their life jackets to save others when the troop ship Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine on Feb 3, 1943. Their actions were among the most heroic and selfless of World War II.

The memorial service was a joint effort of VFW Post 9854, American Legion Post 208, and their respective Auxiliary Units.

Members of Troop 23 attended the service and assisted the veterans by serving as parking lot guards and posting and retiring the colors for the service.

The latest meeting location for Troop 23 was in the basement of the troop’s sponsor, First Baptist Church of Orange. The basement was flooded by the hurricane and all of the equipment, supplies, flags, and historical documents belonging to the troop were destroyed. When the veterans became aware of the troop needing help they decided to repay the service of the troop to them by helping to replace the troop’s losses.

On March 2, Donna Hall, commander of American Legion Post 33 of Beaumont, Chaplain Marv Howland representing VFW Post 9854 and its Auxiliary, American Legion Post 208 and Unit 208, all of Vinton; and Arlene Howland representing American Legion Post 250 of Bridge City met with Troop 23 and presented certificates of appreciation from the veterans groups and monetary donations to help replace the troop’s losses from the hurricane.

“Young men of high character such as those in Troop 23 are the leaders of our future and share the goals of the VFW and the American Legion in preserving those principles upon which our nation was founded. We have, and still do, stand together for America,” said Howland. The scouts and veterans have served together over the years in a number of community and patriotic events, including blood drives.

On March 8, Troop 23 and the veterans groups will conduct a blood drive at 1401 W. Park Ave. in Orange from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.