Column: Eagle Scout gives back to veterans

Carmel Boy Scout Brenden Stock raised money to landscape the grounds of the Indiana Veterans’ Home in Lafayette. (Submitted photo)

Carmel Boy Scout Brenden Stock raised money to landscape the grounds of the Indiana Veterans’ Home in Lafayette. (Submitted photo)

Brenden Stock knew he wanted to do something for the veterans. After all, he is related to a 3-star general. Military service for our country runs in his family.

So it was no surprise to anyone that he would choose the Indiana Veterans’ Home for his Eagle Scout Project.

The only facility of its kind in Indiana, choosing a project centered in Lafayette added additional challenges but also highlighted Brenden’s determination and commitment.

During his initial trip to the facility, after turning off of Highway 43 and winding his way up the hill, he quickly understood how he could enhance the lives of the men and women living there. He decided to create a 1,300-square-foot landscaped area around the monumental limestone entryway, and the project also included some major cleaning to the sign itself.

With a concept in his mind, he set off to design and figure out how to make his project a reality.

The folks at Perennials Plus helped him with his proposal, but in the end, when Brenden wanted to know what a plan like this would cost, he was a little overwhelmed to hear a four digit number that starts with a 3.

Determined to make it work, he decided he would try to raise $3,000 by selling homemade candy.

What he didn’t know is that once the word got out about what he was doing, he would not have to rely solely on candy sales. Donations started pouring in and the net result was $4,491.50.

“My effort on candy sales only brought in about $200, so I was overwhelmed and thankful for the donations,” he said.

Encouraged by the financial support, Brenden was able to enhance his project significantly. After completing 270 man hours of labor with help from Troop 132 on his landscaping, he also produced 250 gift bags; one for each resident of the building. But he did not stop there.

At the annual Memorial Day Ceremony of which Brenden was invited to lead the Pledge Of Allegiance, he brought with him the crowning achievement of his Eagle Scout project.

He had enough money to donate brand new power landscaping equipment for the grounds department and a giant gas grill to the recreation department.

Although I cannot report for sure as of press time, I am confident, when this hits your mailbox on Tuesday, Benden Stock will have been an Eagle Scout for just about a week.