In wanting to honor veterans in his hometown of Conneaut, about 71 miles east of Cleveland along Lake Erie in Ohio, Ryan Sullivan, 16, set out to detail all records of veterans buried at East Conneaut Cemetery.
The newly-minted Eagle Scout from Troop 34 in Conneaut would, over the course of six years, help account for 369 marked veteran graves of which 243 are war veterans ranging from the Civil War to the Global War on Terrorism.
“It was upwards of 60 to 70 hours [of work],” said Sullivan, who added that those didn’t include hours clocked in by his mother, Suzanne, sister and about 10 fellow Boy Scouts.
For his tireless work, which included compiling a detailed database of all veterans interred at the East Conneaut Cemetery, detailing name, plot number and veteran information, Sullivan was awarded the VFW Eagle Scout commendation.
The 16 year old, a junior at Edgewood High School, received the award from local members of VFW Post 2836 during an Eagle Scout ceremony at Camp Peet Metropark in Conneaut on Aug. 7.
“Ryan’s data indicated if the veteran’s plot needed a specific medallion, such as war conflict, broken marker or broken post, which to date have been corrected or waiting for specific conflict markers,” VFW Post 2836 Quartermaster Catherine Glosser said. “He’s even provided an electronic and hard copy of his completed Eagle Scout project to the City of Conneaut’s sexton, Mike Dalrymple.”
Sullivan’s project also earned him the comeuppance from Boy Scout to Eagle Scout, a transition that was highlighted by his organizational skills and leadership throughout the six-year project.
During the ceremony, Eagle Scout project mentor Tom Lucas presented Sullivan with his badge, as well as items from other veterans’ groups that included the Ashtabula County Veterans Service Commission, Private Henry Kalinowski Marine Corps League and the local American Legion Post.
This article is featured in the 2021 November/December issue of VFW Checkpoint.