Seventeen-year-old Dominique Claseman has impressed his hometown of Olivia, Minnesota with a special Eagle Scout project that memorializes the sacrifices of veterans. According to NPR, Olivia did not have a veterans memorial, so Claseman decided that he would design and build one himself that respectfully honors veterans. Clasemen’s ambition and passion for his project led him to outstanding success as his monument came together with the support of his town and his troop.
Claseman, who is the Scoutmaster’s son, began his project by visiting veteran memorials in the surrounding towns to get ideas for his monument. Part of his original plan was to stamp 21 boot steps into a concrete walkway with pavers on the side and a main stone with a few flags. For this, he needed to raise $15,000. However, after fundraising by posting local flyers and speaking at local events (digital communications are not permitted for this fundraising), Claseman raised an incredible $77,777 for his project which allowed him to expand his vision even further. The final design features 280 engraved pavers leading up to the flagpoles, the 21 stamped boot prints (representing the 21-gun salute), and seating surrounded by beautiful landscaping.
With his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all having served in the military, Claseman’s project was personal. To make the boot impressions, his father put on his own combat boots and walked the concrete walkway. Mark Jurgensen, Claseman’s father and the troop’s Scoutmaster, shared “It was nice being able to be part of that…being a veteran myself, getting that peace out there for other veterans, that their families have a place to go to remember their service or remember their loved ones.”
Claseman’s project was unveiled on Memorial Day, and town residents who attended the ceremony expressed their gratitude for his contribution creating a memorial to honor and remember the sacrifices of veterans. Claseman’s project was ambitious, but ambition is part of what makes an Eagle Scout, and a project honoring veterans is one that is greatly needed and appreciated all across the nation.