By Mr. Karl Weisel (IMCOM)May 21, 2014
WIESBADEN, Germany - It's been more than a decade since the first Soldiers went off to fight in the sands and cities of Iraq. The memory of those who didn't make it back is slowly fading.
That's not the case for 10 members of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade who died serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom -- thanks to a project by Troop 107 Life Scout Brayden Love to restore a memorial located outside the 2nd MI Battalion Headquarters on Wiesbaden's Clay Kaserne.
As Lt. Col. John Yorko, 2nd MI Battalion commander, observed, upon first arriving at the unit, he noted the half grown-over memorial in need of repair. "I took a mental note about this and that we needed to clean it up," he said, adding that with a host of other missions and lack of funding, the project was set aside momentarily.
Then he was approached by Love who wanted to find a meaningful project on his way toward reaching Eagle Scout.
"Brayden just did a wonderful job. What a great young man," said Yorko. "He understands that there things greater than himself.
"This is a beautiful memorial and I thank you so much for the great work," Yorko said, adding that the military as an institution must never forget the sacrifices of "these brave Soldiers."
"I saw this place was a mess, and I wanted to clean it up," said Love, explaining that his father, Lt. Col. Bryan Love, was the company commander in 2003 of some of those who died serving in Iraq. After his scoutmaster suggested various projects ranging from environmental to community oriented, Love said he felt compelled to work on the memorial restoration.
"I undertook this project as a means of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, but I can now see that the importance of this project was far greater than my original motives," he said. "Improving this memorial increased my understanding of the Boy Scout Oath and its three promises: Duty to God and country; Duty to other people; and Duty to self. Only after seeing people's responses to what has been done here do I understand what the Boy Scout Oath means."
Love thanked his fellow Scouts, leaders, siblings and Soldiers who helped in the project which took about 225 hours. He also thanked members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 27 who helped with financial support and the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's Directorate of Public Works for assistance.
So the next time you happen to be walking across Clay Kaserne to check your mail or to head to the fitness center, stop by the memorial and spend a few moments to pay tribute to Sgt. Myla L. Maravillosa, Spc. Spencer T. Karol, Sgt. David T. Friedrich, Spc. Lunsford B. Brown, Spc. Gregory A. Belanger, Staff Sgt. Richard S. Eaton Jr., Pfc. Timothy R. Brown Jr., Spc. Kyle A. Griffin, Spc. Michael T. Gleason and Spc. Zachariah W. Long.
"Without their ultimate sacrifice and many others like them, the freedoms we enjoy as Americans would not be possible," said Love.
A fellow Troop 107 Scout, Sam Kraft, was equally industrious in the community, helping beautify the grounds of Hainerberg Chapel on April 19. Craft, with the help of seven Scouts and four adult Scouters, replaced the existing fence on the east side of the building.
Kraft's Eagle project incorporated two tenants of the Scout law -- providing cheerful service and being reverent, officials said.