After an especially bad rainstorm earlier this year at her home in Hendersonville, Tenn., Barbara Duvall looked outside to see her American flag and U.S. Marine Corps flag wrapped around one another.
Upon closer inspection, Barbara saw that the “American flag got the worst of it,” she says.
In truth, it was in tatters.
Barbara wasn’t sure what to do. Her husband, Floyd, was the one who took care of those flags. But the 20-year veteran of the Marines had died on Dec. 30, 2021, at age 82.
“Daddy always took care of the flags when storms came through,” remembers his daughter, Kimberly Duvall Tyler.
And then one Saturday morning, Barbara Duvall heard someone at her door.
“Two boys from Troop 95 rang the doorbell and handed me a brand new American flag with a short note,” Barbara says. “I was bawling, tears running everywhere, that someone so young would take the time to purchase an American flag and bring it to my house. That is a true Scout!”
These true Scouts were Ben Sousa and Salvatore Napolitano, both of Troop 75 of the Middle Tennessee Council.
The note, which Ben and Salvatore had written not knowing who would receive it, read:
We noticed your flag was tangled and had a tear in it. So we got you this new one as a replacement. We appreciate all that you have done for this country.
Thank you for your service,
Boy Scout Troop 75
“I just felt like an act of kindness is always needed in people’s lives,” says Salvatore, a First Class Scout in every sense of the word.
Remembering Floyd R. Duvall
Floyd Raymond Duvall was born Dec. 17, 1939, in Dawson Springs, Ky.
He served for 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring as Master Sergeant.
Floyd was a Cubmaster and Scoutmaster who found a way to involve his family in Scouting wherever his military service took them.
“Each duty station for us was always a new adventure because he would volunteer to help with the Scouts in any way,” Barbara says. “We had three boys — all Scouts — and two daughters.”
Barbara says the entire family felt pride in the United States — but Floyd most of all.
“We always have the American flag flying high to show how much we love our country,” Barbara says. “Our armed forces show their patriotism by giving their all for the USA.”
Sharing the news
Kimberly heard about the flag story during a tearful call with her mom. She shared a photo of the note and the new flag on Facebook, and word quickly spread.
“Thank you Troop 75 for blessing my mom,” Kimberly wrote.
Soon after that, Troop 75 Scoutmaster Chris Scherba heard the news. After asking around, he eventually learned the identity of the Scouts who hatched the plan. You see, Ben and Salvatore hadn’t included their names on the note to Barbara — only their troop number.
They didn’t want the recognition and were satisfied simply to do a Good Turn.
“This Good Turn was amazing to hear about and made me feel wonderful that our Scouts are making this world of ours a better place,” Chris says. “It shows that all the hard work in teaching these boys the Scout Oath and Scout Law is worth the effort.”
Chris made it clear to Bryan on Scouting that he wasn’t involved in this Good Turn in any way. Like us, he’s just able to watch and smile from a distance.
“What impressed me most,” he says, “was the boys saw a problem and resolved the problem with a random act of kindness.”
Ben, a Second Class Scout, says he was just doing his duty as a Scout.
“We didn’t do our good deed for attention or publicity,” he says. “We were simply helping out a neighbor. Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate the thanks we’ve gotten from the Duvall family. But we really were just being good Scouts and good neighbors.”