Chesterton Tribune



Logan Castro beautifies Vietnam Veterans’ Wall as Eagle Scout project

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It began as an Eagle Scout project.

It has become a labor of love and respect, for the men and women who sacrificed all--or who would have given their last measure had they been asked to--in the Vietnam War.

Logan Castro, 16, currently a Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 908, has devoted fully 1,200 man-hours to the landscaping, beautification, and rehabilitation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, at the southwest corner of Ind. 49 and East Porter Ave.

Castro, a CHS honors sophomore, has been in scouting since the first grade, and when it came time to select an Eagle Scout project, there was really no question about what he would do. His paternal grandfather, John Castro, received the Purple Heart while serving with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. His maternal grandfather, Louis Trkulja, is also a decorated U.S. Army veteran. To pay tribute to his grandfathers, to ensure that no one ever forgets the servicemen and women who gave of themselves, who traded their futures for ours, Castro resolved to make the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Chesterton a place where one may meditate in peace and remember with dignity.

Castro began by securing permission to work on the site from Liz Hall, one of those who spearheaded the building of the wall. He worked closely as well with Jim Lynch, a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Post 905.

Then he turned to local American Legion posts, other VVA chapters, the Sons of the American Legion, the American Legion Riders, local businesses, and friends and family, all of whom generously made donations and contributions of funds and materials.

With 1,200 man-hours under his belt, Castro accomplished the following:

* Cut down 12 trees and trimmed others near the flags so that they would no longer get stuck.

* Planted five redbud trees.

* Cleared brush, debris, garbage, and tires from the adjacent woods.

* Weeded the area, then planted more than 150 perennial flowers.

* Laid 30 cubic yards of mulch.

* Fixed 462 linear feet of edging to eliminate tripping hazards.

* Power-washed the walkway, visitor board, and decorative concrete pavers.

* Stained and updated the visitor board.

* Washed the wall itself and podium.

* Installed stone pavers behind the podium and a light to directly illuminate the podium at night.

* Fixed the brackets on flag poles and raised three new flags.

* Repaired lighting posts along the walkway leading to the wall.

* Created a handicapped transition from the walkway to the parking lot.

* Fixed and reconfigured the irrigation system.

* Reinstalled concrete benches.

* Removed and reused shrubs.

* Cleaned a shed on the grounds.

* Cleared the landscaping drains.

* Killed weeds on the paved pathway.

* Erected a sign to bring awareness to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Castro hopes to organize semi-annual cleanups of the site, every spring and fall, as annual service projects for Troop 908.

Castro will be one of the keynote speakers at VVA Chapter 905’s commemoration of Memorial Day at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the wall.






Posted 5/24/2013