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Letter brings Army veteran, Boy Scout leader to tears

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PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- Boy Scouts promise to be helpful, courteous and kind. For Phil Hagerich it is an oath he never really grew out of.

The respected volunteer from Prince George is a Boy Scout institution. Hagerich got involved with scouting when his four sons joined. His boys moved on, but he never turned in his badges.

“I help anybody,” Hagerich said. “I try to do the best I can. Give your best.”

Whatever the Boy Scouts need, Hagerich always lends a helping hand. From maintaining the Scout Museum in Goochland, fundraising and helping hundreds of young men achieve Eagle Scout status.

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Phil Hagerich

“He has a good heart and he is trying to help the community and all,” 12-year-old Boy Scout Jacob Lively said.

“I don’t know if he has ever turned anyone down,” Boy Scout Council Member Roy Page said. “Everywhere you go, you see Phil.”

Hagerich not only builds walls he builds character too. He shares principles and life-lessons that grateful scouts never forget.

“I can say he probably does something for the Boys Scouts every single day of his life,” Boy Scout Leader Rhonda Hannuksela said.

An envelope arrived at Hagerich’s home recently. The letter inside would shake this retired US Army Master Staff Sergeant to the core and brought him to tears.

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Phil Hagerich and Boy Scouts.

In the letter, Steve Armstrong praised Hagerich with words of praise. Steve hasn’t seen his former scout leader in nearly 30 years. The 45-year-old attorney hopes he can be as good a role model to his son.

“I just sent him a note to let him know that there are still boys out there that remember what he did for us,” Armstrong said. “The fact that he is still involved speaks volumes to his dedication. He was always there for the scout. He was always there for the troop.”

“You try to help these kids and when you get something like this they appreciate it,” Hagerich said.

At 75, Hagerich does not plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“He gets joy out of giving. He gives of himself,” Page said. “He gives his treasure. He is a special guy -- very much so.”

HEROES AMONG US SOLICIT

Greg McQuade and CBS 6 News are featuring local heroes in a weekly “Heroes Among Us” segment. Watch Greg’s reports Thursdays on CBS News at 6 or here on WTVR.com. If you would like to nominate someone to be featured on “Heroes Among Us,” click here to email heroes@wtvr.com.