Nestled among snow-capped mountains with a desert to the west, the scenic Eagle Mountain is one of Utah’s fastest-growing communities, from 250 in 1996 to nearly 40,000 residents today.
The city is full of young families – perfect for Army veteran Jimmy Allen’s vision for an American Legion post that mentors children in patriotism and Americanism.
Post 111 focused on youth activities even before its official charter last December. That same month, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Utah’s largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops – ended a century-old relationship. “That left a big hole for many kids in the community who wanted to continue in Scouting,” says Allen, a father of four.
Post members voted to charter two Scouting units, one for boys and one for girls. So far, about 90 children have joined.
Allen, who deployed in Desert Storm and the Iraq War, says veterans have much to offer young people through the Scouting program, including flag etiquette, citizenship and service.
“It’s important for American Legion members to serve as mentors because of their (military) experience. It has the ability to transfer to Scouting, and we can show these kids what a leader really is.”
Branch of Service: Army/Army National Guard (1989-2010)
Rank: Staff sergeant
Military job: Stinger missile crewmember/cavalry scout
American Legion Post: American Legion Post 111, Eagle Mountain, Utah
Years in The American Legion: 2
American Legion activities: Post commander (2018-present)