Jason E. Dreyzehner, an 18-year-old high school senior from Abingdon, Va., has been named The American Legion Eagle Scout of the Year for 2012. Announcement of Dreyzehner's achievement was made Wednesday during the National Americanism Commission's Spring Meetings in Indianapolis. As a recipient of the prestigious award, Dreyzehner will receive a $10,000 college scholarship.
Dreyzehner was recognized for his practical citizenship at school and scouting, and his commitment to community service. His Eagle Scout project consisted of researching, planning and building a commemorative marker bed that identified the site of a fort built in Abingdon by Revolutionary War Patriot Capt. Joseph Black. With assistance from a local planner and geologist, as well as Abingdon's town council and Historical Society, Dreyzehner was able to acquire a location and build a raised triangular bed made of railroad ties to closely match a current bed nearby. His completed project was unveiled during the Virginia Highlands Festival last summer and featured a 21 gun salute firing a volley in memory of those men who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary War.
Dreyzehner's commitment to community service has earned him multiple awards, including the President's "Call to Service" Lifetime Award for more than 4,000 hours of community service, the President's Volunteer Service Gold Award and the Congressional Award Gold Medal. Additionally, in 2007, he was awarded Scouting's National Heroism Award for rescuing a child in the ocean off Fort Fisher Beach, N.C. The child had been pulled out by a strong riptide during high waves associated with Hurricane Dennis.
Dreyzehner plans to major in nanomedicine at the University of Virginia with future sights of becoming an entrepreneur, developing solutions to complex medical problems. As the Legion's 2012 Eagle Scout of the Year, Dreyzehner will join other Legion youth program champions during the 94th Annual National Convention in Indianapolis, August 24-28.
The American Legion also awarded a $2,500 scholarship to Eagle Scout runners up Jonathan Chapman III of Germantown, Tenn.; Robert Kawecki of Charlotte, NC; and Sean Chmielewski of Salem, Conn.
Visit www.legion.org/scouting  in the coming weeks to read Dreyzehner's account of his passion for citizenship, scouting and community service.