EDISON — The outside of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Memorial Post 3117 on National Road got a bit of sprucing up by a crew from Boy Scout Troop 12, led by member Michael DesRanleau.
Last spring, Michael, an Edison High School senior, was fishing for ideas for an Eagle Scout project. That’s when he contacted Post Commander Frank Aleck.
To achieve the highest rank in Boy Scouts, all Eagle candidates must perform a service project which benefits their community.
Aleck, a veteran of the Korean War, listed ideas, which included putting up a fence; putting up a retaining wall around the flagpole; and/or cleaning out the ditch on the right side of the building.
“I wrote all these ideas down and picked the best ones that I thought were the most necessary,” Michael said.
He then created a plan for his Eagle Scout project to build a walled garden base for the main flag pole at Memorial Post 3117.
Over the course of several weeks this fall, Michael and his crew from Troop 12 laid down a base of river stones for the wooden Battle of Iwo Jima memorial, which his troop built for Edison’s Memorial Day parade last May and later donated to the VFW. As a finishing touch, Michael installed a solar-powered spotlight for the memorial’s flag.
Michael said he hit a few snags along the way; however, everything worked out and turned out great.
“In the long run, I thought my project was successful and really changed the outdoor appearance of Edison’s own local VFW Post 3117 for the better,” he said.
The total cost of materials for the project came to approximately $800, which was funded almost entirely through a GoFundMe site that was created for Michael’s project.
Additional support came from Home Depot, Edison, in the form of a $100 discount and from Frank’s Trattoria, Edison, with the donation of three pizzas to feed the crew.
In June, Michael will graduate from Edison High School and will pursue a degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick.