Royal Oak resident David Neary, 16, of Boy Scout Troop 1610, stands in front of his father’s military uniform collection at the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak Feb. 24. He coordinated interviews with military veterans for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project for his Eagle Scout project.

Royal Oak resident David Neary, 16, of Boy Scout Troop 1610, stands in front of his father’s military uniform collection at the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak Feb. 24. He coordinated interviews with military veterans for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project for his Eagle Scout project.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Local Scouts give back to gain their wings

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published February 27, 2018

 Navy veteran Bill Mundy interviews World War II veteran Ray Owens, a navy aviator on the U.S.S. Wasp, for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak Feb. 24.

Navy veteran Bill Mundy interviews World War II veteran Ray Owens, a navy aviator on the U.S.S. Wasp, for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak Feb. 24.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

 Royal Oak resident Jozef Rosas, 16, of Boy Scout Troop 1610, stands in front of the approximately 50 bags of clothing that he received after holding a drive to benefit Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries for his Eagle Scout project.

Royal Oak resident Jozef Rosas, 16, of Boy Scout Troop 1610, stands in front of the approximately 50 bags of clothing that he received after holding a drive to benefit Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries for his Eagle Scout project.

Photo provided by Mel Rosas

 Boy Scouts and volunteers help sort the donations of clothing that Jozef Rosas collected as part of his Eagle Scout project at the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak.

Boy Scouts and volunteers help sort the donations of clothing that Jozef Rosas collected as part of his Eagle Scout project at the First Congregational Church of Royal Oak.

Photo provided by Mel Rosas

ROYAL OAK — Two Royal Oak teens from Boy Scout Troop 1610, chartered out of the First Congregational Church at Crooks and West Webster roads, are on their way to becoming Eagle Scouts.

David Neary, 15, a sophomore at Royal Oak High School, coordinated dozens of interviews with military veterans for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, and Jozef Rosas, 16, a junior at Royal Oak High School, coordinated a successful clothing drive for Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.

Requirements for the Eagle Scout project — the highest achievement in Boy Scouts — include that it gives back to the community and demonstrates leadership.

“I’ve always been into history and always like to learn new things,” said Neary, a lifelong Scout. “I think it’s a good way to give back to our veterans, and a good way to honor them for protecting our freedoms and way of life.”

Neary’s father, Dave Neary, is the scoutmaster of the troop and served in the U.S. Marine Corps, which David said helped influence his project’s direction.

At press time, David Neary said he had conducted approximately 10 interviews and arranged for volunteer interviewers and approximately 29 military veterans to connect in the church’s social hall from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 24.

“Once all of the interviews are completed, we’ll submit them to the Library of Congress, and the Library of Congress will review them. Some of the guidelines are fairly strict — mainly, the duration of the interviews has to be over 30 minutes,” Dave Neary said.

David Neary said he found most of the military veterans and volunteer interviewers — many veterans themselves — through connections with his father.

“I’m very proud of David,” Dave Neary said. “(Scouting) has been a journey that we’ve been on together.”

Rosas distributed fliers to those in his subdivision — in the area of 12 Mile to 13 Mile roads and Main Street to Campbell Road — to appeal for monetary and textile donations. He and his fellow Scouts returned the following weekend to pick up the items.

Overall, he received $430 in cash and approximately 50 55-gallon garbage bags full of hats, coats, scarves, jeans, shirts, footwear and socks from neighbors, family and friends, according to Mel Rosas, Jozef’s father.

“It was a little more than I was expecting, which was good. I think since we planned it out, it was easier than I thought it would be,” Jozef Rosas said. “It was nice to know the stuff I donated was going to be given back to the community right away.”

Mel said the Scouts sorted the donated goods at the church and loaded them onto a truck in time for the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries’ annual Super Bowl party for the homeless.

“They had all that stuff (the Scouts) collected so (those attending) could just pick and choose whatever they needed,” he said.

Mel said he was proud of both of his sons for embarking on the quest to be Eagle Scouts. He said his oldest son, Victor, 20, tore down and replaced the white picket fence at the historic Orson Starr House to complete his project in 2014.