My name is Josh Broze, I’m a Life Scout with Troop 224 in Belvidere, IL. Troop 224 has been chartered by the VFW since its beginning, and they have enjoyed a long lasting relationship. For completion of my final step in Boy Scouts, I have chosen for my Eagle project the VFW Memorial Garden. I started in Cub Scouts as a little Tiger Cub, eventually crossing over into Boy Scouts with great anticipation of what was to come. The time I’ve spent in Boy Scouts has been a true adventure. Along with the camping, I’ve white water rafted on the New River in West Virginia and canoed in the Boundary Waters National Forest in Northern Minnesota. I have attended many summer camps including one at Camp Roy C. Manchester in the land between the Lakes in Kentucky. I have spent countless hours working the Spud Hut at the fair. I am a brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow and I attended NOAC (National Order of the Arrow Conference) at Indiana University in August of 2009 and have completed NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training). In Boy Scouts we are taught to think of God, country, and family first. So with all the things that I’ve done in Boy Scouts I can think of no other fitting project than the VFW Memorial Garden.

The garden consists of three parts. A strong flagpole adorned at the top with this nations flag, representing the reason most choose to serve. Scattered throughout the garden are grasses and plants that return every year for a new beginning, much like the ever returning promise of freedom that each man and woman offers this nation when they choose to serve or are asked to sacrifice. Finally, the bricks that were offered up by families of those who serve, those who have served, and for the families who have offered what I’m sure is their most precious possession a father, a husband, mother or wife, a son daughter or friend.  In some cases they have given the ultimate that one has to give. In the words of President Lincoln, May God leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. 

In the creation of this garden we used some common tools; shovels, rakes, and brooms. We also used some uncommon tools, honor, gratitude, and the everlasting respect of an Eagle Scout, for a way of life in a small town, in a state, in the greatest country on earth.

Please join me in the creation of this garden by buying bricks or making donations. Together we can make a cherished memory one brick at a time. To order please fill out Brick order form and return to VFW.