BC carvers give something back to local veterans

BC carvers give something back to local veterans

Hageman’s stencil and current project sits in the shop waiting to be finished on Oct. 28.

Tyler McGinty, Opinions Editor

For anyone that’s wanted to give back to the military for their service and didn’t know how, Bakersfield College has the solution.

Students who enrolled in the woodworking course at BC are invited to take part in the Eagle Cane Project that gives personalized canes to veterans.

They get the chance to make the head of the cane, which is shaped like the head of a bald eagle.

This way, students get to learn a skill as they give back to the military community, which is exactly what BC student and former auto mechanic Don Johnson wanted out of his retirement.

“I’m developing a skill, and that’s all I wanted out of it and if I can help somebody who will benefit from the cane rather than just hang it on the wall and say ‘gee, it’s pretty,’ then we’ll get twice as much use out of it,” said Johnson.

Johnson has spent 10-12 hours working on the head, and he’s almost completed it.

“I have feathers left to carve and I have to paint it. Then it will be done.”

Professor Steve Hageman, who teaches the course, heard about the program at a convention and thought it would be interesting to bring back to BC.

“It’s a neat way to give something back,” said Hageman.

Although Johnson is currently the only student participant in the program, Hageman isn’t worried about it. He plans to mention the program in the course description for next semester to attract people who are interested in the Eagle Cane Program.

“We’re at the beginning, but we’re not going to let it go,” said Hageman.

The canes are all personalized with the name, received medals and awards of the veteran, but Hageman and Johnson are still looking for a local veteran to award the cane to once it’s complete, so they haven’t been able to personalize the cane yet.

Hageman hopes to find a veteran at BC, but his top priority is finding any veteran who deserves the cane.

“If there’s not a disabled vet at BC, then we’re going to find one locally,” said Hageman.