Every time he drove by the Sumner County Veterans Home, Mason Wettengel couldn’t help but think about the sacrifices made by the veterans living there. And he couldn’t help but notice something else about the place.
“I could tell that the converted 1950s motel could probably use some extra help,” Mason says.
He talked with two veterans about the home and learned that it had many apartment units that were empty because of unlivable conditions inside. Then he thought about the 700-plus homeless veterans in Tennessee.
Instead of lamenting that “someone should do something,” Mason actually did do something. He turned the idea into his Eagle Scout service project. Mason renovated five apartments for previously homeless veterans in Gallatin, Tenn., a city about 30 miles northeast of Nashville.
Mason raised $22,000 from local businesses and members of the community for the home, which receives no state or federal funding. With that money, Mason and his volunteers completed an HGTV-worthy makeover. They added new flooring, reglazed the bathtubs, and brought in new furniture and appliances. Service flags were also installed to all 30 apartments to commemorate the veterans’ branches of service.
For his remarkable service to Tennessee veterans, the Eagle Scout from Troop 75 of the Middle Tennessee Council received the 2020 Adams Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award for the Southern Region.
— Mason, Troop 75, Gallatin, Tenn.