Teen restores WWI cannon to honor soldiers while earning badge

By: Kelly Asmuth Email
By: Kelly Asmuth Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A 15–year–old boy from Grand Junction is spending his spare time recreating a piece of World War I history.

A lot of Boy Scouts aiming to earn the top Eagle Scout badge help the community in traditional ways. "...repainting benches, helping out with the homeless shelter. I saw this project and decided to be a little bit different," says 15-year-old Andrew Black.

It's certainly not often you see a 15–year–old taking on a German cannon from WWI. Andrews mom works at the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, which hauled in the heavy artillery from Fort Carson.

So far, Andrew has dedicated 70 hours to restoring the 1916 cannon, which will serve as a military remembrance at the cemetery. He's working to earn his Eagle Scout badge, the highest Boy Scout rank. "I am stripping paint, polishing the brass, repainting, demilling it," says Andrew.

It's a worthy task that he says was made possible by his friends next door to the V.A. Cemetery, the Army National Guard.

"We're pretty close friends with cemetery. Anything we can do to help out we will," says Master Sgt. Tim Smith.

"I really like them," Andrew says, referring to his friends at the Army National Guard. "They've helped me out a lot on this project, and I couldn't have done it without them."

Or, perhaps, a good dose of patience and elbow grease. "I can come back here years later and show my grandkids that this is what I did for my Eagle Scout, and it's still going to be there, the same as I left it," says Andrew.

Andrew had to move to Carbondale for school, but hopes to have the project finished by next spring.


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