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Eagle Scout surpasses fundraising effort for community's veterans memorial


Olivia, Minn., is a farming community of about 2,300 people. Many of its residents are veterans or related to a veteran.


Take, for instance, 17-year-old Dominique Claseman, who comes from a long line of veterans.

DOMINIQUE CLASEMAN: My dad, his great-grandpa and my grandpa.

MARTINEZ: So for his Eagle Scout project, Claseman decided to fill a big void and build a veterans memorial. He started with a modest goal of raising about $15,000.

DOMINIQUE: I was originally picturing just a walkway with 21 blue steps and pavers on the side and along with a main stone. That was my initial plan.

KHALID: But then his community started donating and donating, and he wound up raising a lot more money.

DOMINIQUE: Exactly $77,777.

MARTINEZ: So Claseman came up with a new design with 280 engraved pavers leading to three flagpoles and a place to sit and reflect, something his neighbors told him they really appreciated.

DOMINIQUE: There's one person that came up to me, and they said that they are so happy to see this and that they've been living in this town for 10, 15 years, and they were waiting for something like this to even happen.

MARTINEZ: And Claseman's favorite part? Twenty-one boot prints stamped into concrete made with the boots his father, Mark Jurgensen, wore when he served. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.