Members of Boy Scouts Troop 342 gathered at the home of Leland and Pearl Riggs yesterday to dedicate a new flagpole to replace one that had been stolen from his front yard last November. About 35 years ago his first wife, Cleatus, gave him the flagpole as a Christmas gift. She died in 2002.
In addition to the flag purchased by the Boy Scouts, Congressman John Barrow presented Riggs with a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol.
The flagpole was installed in December but the weather forced the dedication till yesterday.
Troop 342 Scoutmaster Lovett Bennett Jr., said "Part of what we teach these guys is patriotism, they learn about it through scouting."
Riggs is an Army veteran of World War II and served in the Guadalcanal campaign in the South Pacific in 1942-43. He was recalled in 1950 during the Korean War. He retired after 26 years with the rank of major.
The destruction of Riggs' flagpole was one of 13 vandalism incidents that night which resulted in damage to several mailboxes, lighting fixtures at two businesses, vehicles, a road sign, and an Eagle Nation ceramic eagle structure in front of Howard Lumber on Gentilly Road.
In January Statesboro police arrested 18 year Justin Nasworthy of Swainsboro and 19 year old Jeffery Tanner of Granade Street in Statesboro and charged them with felony criminal damage to property and criminal trespass.