CRESTVIEW — When AMVETS Post 35 members post and retire service flags in front of their headquarters, they will have a local Boy Scout to thank for the new walkway down the center of the flag array.


CRESTVIEW — When AMVETS Post 35 members post and retire service flags in front of their headquarters, they will have a local Boy Scout to thank for the new walkway down the center of the flag array.



Click here to see Tayler Vest's Eagle Scout Court of Honor photos>>



On Saturday, Tayler Vest of Troop 773 in Crestview will receive scouting's highest rank at his Eagle Court of Honor. The walkway was his Eagle project that qualified him for the rank.



Tayler, a June Crestview High School graduate, said he got the idea for the walkway as den chief of Cub Scouts Pack 535's Webelos; he took his younger charges to the post several times and always felt that something was missing.



"When it came time to do an Eagle project, I decided I would do a walkway for the AMVETS," he said.



Tayler brought the idea to AMVETS post commander Craig Sarrasin, who readily gave his consent.



"He loved the idea," Tayler said. "Where they have all the flagpoles, it was just barren. It didn't look right."



Getting to work



A 15-person crew of Boy Scouts from Tayler's troop and adult volunteers got to work at 7:30 a.m. on a rainy May 11 at the AMVETS post on John King Road.



By 11 a.m., they had dug a shallow trench, lined it, put sand in place, installed red paving stones and tamped them down. They then stood back to admire the results of their labor.



Tayler had designed the project and overseen its completion. Per Eagle candidate rules, he was not allowed to actively participate in the actual construction except in a supervisory position.



In designing the project, which will include a stone bench at the end of the walk, Tayler turned to his family's home library.



"We had a home improvement book and I referenced a couple pages out of it for the whole project," he said.



Sarrasin said his organization is grateful for Tayler and fellow scouts’ hard work.



"They did a real good job on it. It's a great project,” Sarrasin said.



Proud parents



Saturday, Tayler will receive the Eagle Scout neckerchief and patch at his Court of Honor at the American Legion post on U.S. Highway 90.



This fall, Tayler will begin studying electrical engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University in Daytona Beach. In June, he received the university's Outstanding Senior Aviation Student award for his studies under Crestview High's CHOICE Aviation Institute.



His parents, Kellie and Joe Vest, are proud of their son's accomplishments.



"My son has come so far," Kellie Vest stated in an email. "He started scouting in first grade at Holloman AFB in New Mexico and has been involved since.



"In fourth grade, Tayler was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. He overcame what some call a disability and turned it into an ability."



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.