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A Scout's honor

For Matthew Sammel of Clearwater, a day of paying tribute to the armed forces with stars and stripes is a Boy Scout deed to remember.

I love being in the Boy Scouts. The activities are really fun. We do camping, bike rides, canoe trips, backpacking, swimming, things like that. But not too long ago, we did this activity I'd never done before.

It was on the Saturday before Memorial Day. We went to Bay Pines (National Cemetery near Seminole) and we put a flag at the gravestones for all the men and women who died for our country.

I probably put down 200 or more by myself. And they said that all the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts there put down 22,000 flags in an hour and 30 minutes.

I felt sad because I was thinking about all the people who died, but it made me feel glad to do something like that.

My biggest dream is to go as far as I can in the Boy Scouts. I'm going to this camp in North Carolina (this month) and I'm going to take my badge classes up there. I'm almost to first class and think I can be an Eagle Scout in another year or two.

I like to do lots of other things, like play PlayStation games with my younger brother Casey and practice on my drum set. But my favorite thing besides being a Scout is sports. I'm 12 years old and I've been playing soccer since I was 4. I'm a midfielder. My mom and dad take us to see games, too, like the Clearwater Phillies or arena football.

Plus, I like to write sports. I'll read an article about the Bucs or something and then I'll write my own story and explain it in my own words. I give them to my parents and neighbors and friends. My mom and dad say they don't have to read the sports pages anymore. They're happy to get the news from me.

I keep this scrapbook, too. I put all my photos from my Boy Scout trips and activities in there. I've got my merit badges and ranks, and my fireman chip that says I can build a fire when we're camping. And at the back of it, I keep a picture from that day we put all the flags in the ground.

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