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It's a simple image that conveys a deeper meaning.

A pair of combat boots supporting a rifle, a soldier's helmet resting on the rifle's end. Above it, the words "Honor the Fallen" are inscribed.

This image - known as the fallen soldier battle cross - accompanies a mural of the American flag, both of which Boy Scout Bryce Milke painted at the Veterans Club in Beatrice for his Eagle Scout project.

Milke, a sophomore at Beatrice High School, said he was approached by Mike Comer at the Veterans Club to paint the mural and battle cross on the club's back wall. The mural is adjacent to a wooden wall honoring all branches of the military that Comer built.

"There are veterans who come here every day and night and it means a lot to them, which means a lot to me," said Milke, Monday evening.

With help from his father Kevin Milke and older brother Tyler Milke, Bryce worked on the paintings every night for the past two weeks. 

"It took about 30 to 35 hours to do it," he said.

After some paperwork and a visit with Boy Scouts directors, Milke hopes the project will earn him his Eagle Scout award. 

"This young man's heart is in the proper place," said Comer, who praised Milke's hard work.

Lisa Lyons, Milke's mother, said the project means a lot to her personally. Lyons works part-time at the Veterans Club, 701 Dorsey St. The club serves as a meeting place for local veterans' groups, including the American Legion Post 27 and VFW Post 1077. 

"This was a young man on a mission," said Leon Hagan, commander of the VFW post.

Lyons' dad was also a veteran, giving even greater meaning to the paintings.

"I'm just really proud of him," said Lyons. "He's young right now, but I know as he gets older, it will mean even more."

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