WAKEFIELD – Community members gathered around Eaton Field at Graves Park in northeast Nebraska for an Eagle Scout project dedication ceremony.
From Wakefield, Eagle Scout Jack Schlickbernd with Troop 174 was joined by Mayor of Wakefield Paul Eaton and local Veteran historian Jim Clark.
The POW/MIA Seat of Honor was dedicated Wednesday evening with members of local Veterans organizations.
Schlickbernd said it was suggested to him to do something that he would be passionate about.
“I know that I wanted to honor the Veterans in some way and then I also decided to do it at one of my favorite places which is Eaton Field,” Schlickbernd said. “I thought it was fitting to put a POW/MIA seat here because other major league teams were installing them at their stadiums along with their major league seats which we also have here at Eaton Field.”
Following a welcome from Schlickbernd, Mayor of Wakefield Paul Eaton and Jim Clark with the Post 81 American Legion both spoke.
Phil Does provided the prayer, Post 81 American Legion conducted their 21 Gun Salute and the event concluded with Taps by Mrs. Esly Ovando.
The empty chair will serve as an instant reminder of the sacrifices made for our country by these still-missing US Service personnel, over 81,000, who have, for too long, been forgotten by all but their families and close friends.
Schlickbernd thanked all of his supporters during the dedication and was able to gather more knowledge on the three POW/MIAs that Wakefield has.
“It felt really great to know that it was an important project to everyone,” Schlickbernd added. “I was very interesting in the stories of the POWs and the MIAs. I didn’t know everything about them, I just knew their names and knew that they were all from Wakefield.”
Their names are LT Junior Grade Jean Paul Hart, US Navy (MIA 1/30/42); LTJG Allen W Keagle, US Navy (MIA 4/2/45) and Sergeant First Class Willie E Stark, US Army (MIA 12/2/66).
A few more sets of major league ball park seats will be installed around Eaton Field along with the Siouxland Big Give fundraiser coming up to finish off his POW/MIA project.
“I have reached Eagle Scout which is the ending point of scouts,” Schlickbernd mentioned. “I’m still involved and will still go on some more High Adventure trips…I’m just excited to see how people react to it. I’ve already seen a few reactions, I can’t wait to see what other people say about it.”
To view the POW/MIA seat, visit Eaton Field at Graves Park in Wakefield which is located up top behind the third base dugout.