By: Hayley Kohlhepp/Senior Writer
Blue Ridge ninth grader Thomas Gibson has big plans for his future after high school, but he isn’t waiting to get started.
Gibson, who is working on his Eagle Scout ranking, recently collaborated with members of the local Veterans of Foreign War Post 6223 and several other Boy Scouts from troop 83 in Conklin to create a mini-museum for the VFW’s war artifacts, many of which are more than 100 years old.
The mini-museum has become part of Gibson’s Eagle Scout project while also serving as a way to pay tribute to those who have fought for our country.
Gibson says the idea for the museum, which should be completed by Memorial Day, came about through conversation with local veterans.
“Veterans dinner’s, my bus driver having parties there, and just trying to support my local veterans got me involved with the VFW. They came to me and told me they have a room full of artifacts that they’ll be forced to sell if they can’t be put to use. I didn’t want to see that happen.”
When asked what this museum means to him and the local veterans he replied, “For me, it means everything. But I think the veterans view it as a form of support for their fight and sacrifice.”
Gibson’s goal is to attend West Point and take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to become a U.S. Army Ranger. He hopes for an early retirement at 35, followed by a relocation to Gettysburg where he plans to become a member of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Gibson also says he hopes to see everyone at the VFW on Memorial Day to support local veterans and take a tour of the museum.
The VFW Post 6223 is located at 386 Main St, Great Bend, PA.
Gibson’s project was recently featured on a report from WNEP, channel 16.
Hayley Kohlhepp is a senior and first-year writer for the Raider Reader. She loves to write and hang out with her family. Hayley plans on studying social work at SUNY Broome College in hopes that she can pursue her true passion, helping others.