By Jennifer Hartwig, Fort Stewart Public AffairsJune 25, 2010
FORT STEWART, Ga. - When Aaron Jacobs was younger, he would accompany his father to his Balfour Beatty job of taking care of Warriors Walk. For Aaron, like many others, that place had a significant effect.
Aaron, now 16, has been with the Boy Scouts since he was 5 years old. After 11 years, he is working on his Eagle Scout project and decided to do something with Warriors Walk. After approaching the 3rd Infantry Division Society, Aaron learned of their desire to put benches on that hallowed ground.
And a project was born.
For the past three months, Aaron has been working, with the assistance of the 3rd ID Society and the Fort Stewart Department of Public Works to place five concrete benches along the hallowed grounds.
"I feel obligated to help because I know some of the people here," Aaron said of Warriors Walk. "I really think this (project) will add to Warriors Walk and hopefully draw even more people here to give their thanks."
Part of the Eagle Scout rank is doing a service project that helps the community and Aaron, the son of retired Soldier, Joel Jacobs, said the military is his community.
When Joel retired from the Army, his last assignment was with the 92nd Engineers. He took a job as caretaker of Warriors Walk.
"I feel obligated to help, because I know some of the people here," said Aaron, who is part of Troop 410 out of Hinesville. "I like being out here; I think it's a good place to come to think about the things that mean a lot to you."
Before ever breaking ground, Aaron spent more than two-and-a-half months planning, including getting supplies and materials and surveying the ground to decide where to put the five benches.
The labor-intensive process took roughly 25 hours to complete, with the help of 20 of Aaron's fellow troop members and parents. After surveying the area came the hard work - digging out the five forms and strip the forms before the concrete could be poured; then the concrete pour and smoothing, then setting in each of the five treated concrete benches, which came in three pieces, each piece weighing nearly 200 pounds.
Overseeing the project was Jeff Poulin, director's engineer technician for DPW.
Poulin, a retired sergeant major, oversees an average of two Eagle Scout projects a year, but said this one was especially meaningful.
"Aaron's dad was one of my platoon sergeants in the 92nd Engineers, so I've known Aaron for a long time," he said.
The concrete was poured June 10, and after allowing ample time to dry, the benches were put in place June 15.
"I really think [this project] will add to Warriors Walk, and hopefully draw even more people here to give their thanks," said Aaron, who will be a junior at Bradwell Institute High School in the fall. He said he sees the tie between the Scouts and the Army, and has thought about joining the military after college.
"Part of the Boy Scout oath is 'duty to your country,' and being in the service is the ultimate duty to your country," he said.
With the tree dedication taking place at Warriors Walk June 17, Aaron said he wanted to ensure that the benches were in place before the ceremony.
"Warriors Walk means a lot to his dad and to him," said Michelle Jacobs, Aaron's mother. "I'm really proud of Aaron; he's a great scout and a great kid. This project means a lot to him, and I'm glad he was able to do it, for him and his dad."
Joel is also the scout master of Troop 410. He said that part of the Eagle Scout project is to do something that not only benefits the community, but that is also lasting.
"I like to think that this project is lasting," Joel said.
Joel said the best part of the project is that it was meaningful to the community, and especially to Aaron.
"Aaron said to me the other day that even if this wasn't an Eagle Scout project, he'd still do it."