Life Scout Branden Bravo of Our Lady of the Lakes Boy Scout Troop 566 in Miami Lakes completed his Eagle Scout community service project honoring veterans at the Alexander Nininger State Veterans Nursing Home in Pembroke Pines in time for the Veterans Day holiday.
The nursing home is a state funded facility, so funds are limited for non-essential items such as landscaping beautification projects. His project consisted of converting the current unattractive and dull patio at the home into an appealing landscape with a special tribute memorial garden area for veterans and visitors to reflect on the services these Vietnam, Korean, and even WWII veterans provided to the country while giving them a pleasant place to enjoy the Florida sunshine.
Bravo spearheaded the execution of “Operation Honoring Our Forgotten Vets” along with family, friends, and fellow troop members on October 26. Hands were busy from pulling weeds, shoveling rocks, planting palm trees, flowers, plants, grass, assembling a birdbath and bird feeder, to setting a boulder with a plaque honoring all the veterans.
Five stepping stones, representing each military branch with its name engraved on the stones, were all a part of his special memorial garden tribute.
When asked why he decided to undertake this venture as his Eagle Project, Bravo replied “I’ve always had great respect and admiration for these special men and women of uniform. There is no price to the acts of courage and sacrifices they gave in preserving the freedom and liberty we all enjoy today. Giving back to them is the least we can do and I wanted to show my appreciation to them just in time for Veterans Day.”
Oscar Correale, supervisor of Recreation Therapy at the state veteran’s nursing home says that the veterans can’t get enough of the newly renovated patio.
“They love the new look the patio has and they are so grateful to this young man for thinking of them” said Correale.
Commitment and service to the community and country runs in Bravo’s family. Bravo has relatives currently in the military – a brother (Rick) who is a midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, a former Troop 566 Venture member; and a cousin, also a former Troop 566 and Eagle Scout (Adrian Quintana) in the Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina.