Thursday, July 24 2014 11:46 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:46:21 GMT
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night.More >>
Former Associated Press writer Jim Purks shared his experiences with people in Albany Thursday night. More >>
May 26, 2008
Leesburg- A Lee County Eagle Scout candidate knows all too well the cost of freedom.
It was Jeremy Kluball's personal loss that drove him to create a tribute for the brave men and women who served in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom.
When Jeremy Kluball realized there was no memorial to honor the sacrifice made by a friend's father he knew he'd found his Eagle Scout project
"I have a friend who's father died there, so it's pretty much personal to me. I've also played paint ball with some people and one of them got hit with a mortar, so I know a few people," said Kluball.
Jeremy set out to raise $1,500 for a memorial to Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom's fallen. He had no idea raising the funds would be so easy and would take a little more than word of mouth.
"It all came through personal checks through the community and businesses," said Kluball.
A project that easily convinced so many to give, just as easily evoked emotions as it was unveiled Monday.
"I can't explain it, when they first approached me with it. You think so much the younger generation now does not even think about Veterans or what they have done or will do and for that to happen, it just grabs you by the heart," said Pat Walsh, Commander Post 182.
The memorial also brings great honor for those who served in the conflicts.
"I believe it's a great honor, the young man I believe is going in the right direction. I think having patronage for their country and for what they believe in and for putting this memorial out here today, I think that's great," said Princeton White, Iraqi Freedom Veteran.
Now flanked by a flag that's flown over the nation's capital, both Veterans and Jeremy Kluball feel the monument serves as a perfect reminder that, freedom isn't free.
Jeremy Kluball said because he's received additional donations for the project he plans to add a black granite bench, flower pot, and a flag stand to the memorial.