Local Eagle Scout marks veterans' headstones

Jeffrey Jensen's crew molds the grave markers before installation.

A resident of Page since 2011, Jeffrey Jensen, 16 years old, is about to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in Scouts BSA.

In addition to earning 21 merit badges, every Eagle Scout is required to formulate, organize and execute a project that benefits the community and have it approved by the council office. Jeffrey chose to honor veterans at the Page Cemetery with a project named “Military Headstone Markers” and mark every grave containing a veteran.  

Born in Aurora, Colorado, Jeffrey moved to Page in 2011 and started his scouting career as a Bear in Cub Scouts in 2012. Jeffrey is a member of Troop 7911 in Page and has so far earned 37 merit badges. His favorite part of scouting has been the summer camps – he has gone three times so far.

Jensen has been raised in a military household. Several members of his family have served in various wars, including World War II, Korea and Operation Desert Storm. Jensen’s father served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was a natural extension of his family’s military history to decide on an Eagle project.

As a sophomore at Page High School, Jensen is active in sports year-round, starting with soccer in the fall, wrestling in winter, and baseball, his favorite sport, in spring. He is an active young man and has not neglected his studies, maintaining a straight-A average in school.

A scout does not simply do an Eagle project himself. The project is intended to be a way for the scout to show his leadership skills by planning and executing the project. Jensen assembled a labor force of around 10 people consisting of fellow scouts, family members and other members of the community.

Organizing the labor force is just part of what is expected. He appreciates the material donations from Page Lumber and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  

There were some graves that had been marked, but most of them had not. Jensen contacted the City of Page, and their records showed all of the veterans that were buried.

Jensen’s team checked existing graves to see how many were already marked and determined that 45 markers were needed. Prior to installing the markers, his team cast the markers out of concrete and placed a plastic medallion on each marker.

On Oct. 16, his team gathered at the Page Cemetery and installed the grave markers. At the completion of his project, all of the current graves containing veterans at the Page Cemetery will have a marker.

Jensen said that his secret to pursuing the rank of Eagle is to “stay focused, don’t be discouraged, especially by the paperwork, and work at it one part at a time.” Sometimes, projects are like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.

Once the project is complete, he will receive a medal and a patch to wear on his scouting uniform at a court of honor. Earning Eagle Scout is not just a thing a kid does to pass the time or a way to get a medal.  It prepares the scout with life skills and is recognized by employers as an accomplishment.  

Jensen’s favorite quote is, “Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don’t know how far we can go.”  After graduating High School, Jensen plans to join the United States Air Force as an officer and study aeronautical engineering. 

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