Juarez, who will be a senior at Heritage High School in Brentwood in the fall, plans to install a special memorial in Veterans Park on Sunday, June 27 to honor the sacrifices of the men and women of the military. The project fulfills the community service requirement of Juarez’s Eagle Scout candidacy.
“When you decide on an Eagle project, you need to find something you are passionate about or else the project becomes a chore,” Juarez said. “I decided to do something for our veterans because my dad, grandpa, uncles and cousins have served in the Marines, and I’ve always been taught to respect, remember and appreciate everything that veterans have done for us. We wouldn’t have what we have today without the many sacrifices from our men and women in uniform, and I want to do something to acknowledge local veterans in the community.”
Following a brief memorial dedication ceremony at the park, featuring a guest speaker and the unveiling of the plaque, a motorcycle procession will lead guests to Veterans Hall, where Juarez, with the help of his friends, will serve a free dinner to 100 veterans and their guests. Brentwood Café will cater the invitation-only event, which will include guest speakers and live entertainment. While the plaque will become a permanent fixture in the community, Juarez said he wanted to host a dinner for the veterans as a token of his gratitude.
While Juarez hasn’t ruled out a military career, the Heritage varsity linebacker hopes to attend UCLA to study business. Since his senior schedule will be loaded with extracurricular activities and several AP classes, Juarez wanted to make sure he completed his Eagle Scout project this summer.
“Eagle Scout is a prestigious status, and this project is helping me get out of my comfort zone,” Juarez said. “I’m doing a lot of presentations and organizing this whole thing. It’s a lot of work, but the process teaches you a lot of good things about leadership, and that will be a helpful skill to have throughout my life. I’ve met a lot of community leaders through this process and I’m taking on something that most kids my age will never do in their lifetime.”
Juarez, who hatched the idea for his Eagle Scout project in February, believes the memorial and the plaque are his way of honoring local veterans as well as creating awareness about all they’ve done by serving and protecting the country over the years.
“A lot of people take members of the armed forces for granted, but it’s not their fault,” said Juarez. “They just don’t realize that someone had to fight for the freedoms they enjoy every day. I hope this project will help create more awareness and appreciation for our local veterans. They’ve done so much to protect our freedoms, and it’s important for them to know that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.”
To help complete his project, Juarez is asking the community for monetary donations to help pay for the plaque and the dinner. Donations, which are tax deductible (Tax ID 20-1711528), may be sent to BSA Troop 298, c/o David Juarez, 1323 Muscat Court, Brentwood, CA 94513.
The memorial unveiling will take place at Veterans Park near the flagpoles at 5 p.m. on June 27.