COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - Heroes don't always wear capes: In our new series, we're featuring fearless members of the community who go above and beyond the call of duty to better the lives of others.
One local high school student is devoting his time to honor veterans and active-duty service members by retiring hundreds of American flags.
Cody Schieferstine and his family have a whole storage unit full of flags. He said, "The reason we do retirements I believe is out of respect for the freedoms we have and what the American flag symbolizes. And also, I believe it also symbolizes all the soldiers that have fought for the American flag and freedom."
Not only is Cody retiring flags, but he is also helping others across the valley properly dispose of their tattered flags.
"It depends on the type of material the flag is made of. If it were made of cotton, we would retire it by fire and if it was nylon, then you cut it up into fours and technically it is no longer a flag," said Schieferstine.
This is all a part of his Eagle Scout project, in which he purchased and placed a box to collect the flags outside the Elks Lodge in Indio.
"You just take the flag put it in. And I don't have the keys just yet, but we have this lock box and we would collect the flags like every month," said Schieferstine.
Elk Lodge officials said they're grateful for Cody's service to the community.
"It never ceases to amaze me the project that these Scouts do in the crazy world we're in today and you see a group of young people like this do a project like this that affects the whole community," said James Miller of the Elks Lodge.
Cody's family has a history of service. "Cody's great-grandfather and grandfather are Marines. I'm a Marine so Scouting is important. I'm an Eagle Scout and scouting has been an important part of his life and our life," said Barry Schieferstine, Cody's dad.
Cody and his family will be holding a dedication ceremony on Saturday Dec. 30 at 9 a.m. at the Elks Lodge located at 46301 Madison St, Indio, CA 92201.
If you have someone you think is a hero in our community, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .