Home News Local News Roswell teen upgrades POW/MIA Park for Eagle Scout project

Roswell teen upgrades POW/MIA Park for Eagle Scout project

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Dallas Bills stands next to a sign at POW/MIA Park that he made for his Eagle Scouts project. (Alex Ross Photo)

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A city park dedicated to members of the U.S. military who were captured or went missing while serving their country overseas, is getting an upgrade, thanks to an effort spearheaded by a Boy Scout from Roswell.

Dallas Bills, 17, is working to improve a small area of POW/MIA Park on Pennsylvania Avenue to earn his Eagle Scout badge.

For the project, Bills has worked with the city of Roswell and several friends to level the dirt, spread a layer of rock and add a sign to a small plot of land separated from the rest of the park by Spring River.

He said that he and about seven other people began breaking ground on the project Monday and hoped to be done by the end of the day Wednesday.

The large metal sign mounted on two wooden posts consists of the universal symbol of POWs and MIAs — a silhouetted figure with a watchtower in the background with the words “You are Not Forgotten” — and an American flag.

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Bills said he, with the help from Daniel Matthews, his agriculture instructor at Robert H. Goddard High School, cut the shapes into the sign using a plasma cutter.

The project was suggested by a friend of his who worked for Roswell Parks and Recreation, but is something Bills said he also wanted to do as a way to thank military veterans.

“I really support and honor our veterans,” Dallas said Wednesday while at the site with his father Derek Bills and a friend who is helping with the effort.

As the grandson of a Navy veteran, Dallas Bills said he has a great deal of respect for the military.

“And so doing this was just my way of thanking them for their service and everything they have done,” he said.

In addition to the physical labor, Dallas Bills said he spent a great deal of time soliciting donations and planning the project out.

Sponsors, he said, included Sweatt Construction Co. of Artesia who donated the stones used for the project and Davis Rental of Roswell who lent bill a skid-steer free of charge that he used to spread the stones.

Derek Bills added that before he erected the sign and spread the stones, Parks and Recreation leveled the dirt at the site.

“They were a big part of helping us do this,” he said.

Dallas Bills said the most challenging part of the project for him was uploading and editing pictures that he needed to use for making the sign.

He added that the project has also been educational for him. Dallas Bills said he learned how to plan and solicit donations for a project, and improved his skills in operating a skid-steer.

Derek Bills said he is also proud of his son’s work. Aside from his son earning his Eagle Scout badge and moving forward with the project, he said the improvements he and his son are making will also enhance the experience people have at the park and will serve to honor the memories of those who went missing or were captured while serving their country.

“That means a lot,” Derek Bills said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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