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Family of Eagles takes flight

POULSBO — Robert Strand’s picture appeared on the front page of the Dec. 18, 1952 issue of the Kitsap County Herald as he, Roger Serwold and David Anderson were awarded their Eagle Scout badges.

Saturday, Brandon Johnson made his ascent to the Eagles as Strand pinned his 1952 Eagle Scout rank onto his grandson’s left breast pocket.

“I’ve waited a long time for this and I don’t expect it back,” Strand told him as friends, family and fellow Scouts watched.

“I’m proud of you,” he added.

Johnson smiled as the two embraced in a heartfelt hug and uttered a simple word of “thanks.”

In addition to having the unique distinction of being one of the few grandfathers who sees a grandson earn the rank of Eagle — the highest in the Boy Scouts of America — Strand and Johnson share another bond.

Both received their award as a member of Troop 1571 in the Fireside Room of First Lutheran Church, which began sponsoring the troop after the American Legion Hall burned down in the 1930s.

“This is the only time in troop history, and the troop is 74 years old, that anyone can recall this happening,” said Scout volunteer Mike Regis, who emceed the ceremony.

The 1952 ceremony was remarkable in that three Scouts were awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, which many Scouts fail to achieve before their 18th birthdays, Regis said.

“We’ve watched Brandon grow and I’ve really been impressed with his determination,” he said.

That determination was exemplified as Johnson worked toward the completion of his Eagle project, which was marking the boundary of property owned by First Lutheran Church, Regis said.

Johnson led a group of Scouts in clearing an eight-foot wide, half-mile long swath and setting metal posts every 100 feet to note the property line.

Scoutmaster Keith Button told the audience that it’s not often the troop conducts an Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

“Every Scout sets out on the path but only about 4 percent achieve it,” Button said. “Brandon is one of the few.”

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