Cameron Korman, 18, from Troy, right, stands beside Dave Duey, the director of operations at the MI Freedom Center in Troy. Korman did his Eagle Scout community project for MI Freedom Center, managing the creation of a flag display case.

Cameron Korman, 18, from Troy, right, stands beside Dave Duey, the director of operations at the MI Freedom Center in Troy. Korman did his Eagle Scout community project for MI Freedom Center, managing the creation of a flag display case.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Scout project makes showcase for Pearl Harbor flag

By: Eric Czarnik | Troy Times | Published October 21, 2020

Advertisement

TROY — To Troy High School senior Cameron Korman, community service is a way to give back to the society that lets him be a student, a Scout and a member of the community.

It was that ethic of service that led Korman, 18, to recently finish a Scouting community service project. By doing so, he managed the production of a wooden showcase, complete with glass, that preserves and protects a special U.S. flag.

The flag currently is on loan to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center, which is also known as the MI Freedom Center. The Freedom Center, which has a presence at two Detroit Metro terminals, obtained the flag in 2016 after it had flown at Hickam Air Force Base at Pearl Harbor.

MI Freedom Center Community Outreach Director Tom Lang said a freedom center is a military lounge at the airport that provides snacks and drinks.

“We’ve got recliners and all those kinds of things,” he said. “It’s a place of respite for military who are traveling.”

Korman, who lives in Troy, said that in order to become an Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest rank, he first has to complete a project that benefits the community or a group unaffiliated with the Boy Scouts.

He said he learned about the Freedom Center’s need due to his father knowing the president of a Jewish veterans group. So when he heard that the Freedom Center needed a showcase for its Pearl Harbor flag, he jumped at the chance.

“Both of my grandparents were in World War II,” he said. “I thought it was something cool to do.”

Korman said he reached out to the Freedom Center around January 2020. But the unprecedented disruptions that COVID-19 caused put a wrench in finishing the project right away.

“Originally, we were going to have the project done by March,” he said. “Then March 13-15 was when COVID really hit and school was shut down. We kind of went on hiatus until Scouting resumed in the summer. We actually needed to get an extension on the project.”

Korman said overseeing the project involved a “huge learning curve,” and acquiring monetary and supply donations was a big part of his responsibilities. As a Scout, he said, he has done projects that deal with building things, such as benches and play structures. But for this particular project, he helped with the design while troop representative Kent Klitzke did much of the actual carpentry.

Korman finally celebrated the project’s completion Oct. 6. He said the Freedom Center’s representatives, such as Director of Operations Dave Duey, loved it.

“Mr. Duey was very respectful, and he appreciated all the work that we did,” Korman said. “We didn’t expect it to turn out as well as it did.”

Korman said he took home a lesson from his Eagle Scout project experience.

“There are always people that want to help for a cause, especially in times of need,” he said.

Lang said that while the MI Freedom Center’s flag is on loan, he believes that it will be present at the airport for some time.

He added that his organization is a nonprofit, and Lang said COVID-19 has hurt its finances due to the pain the airline industry has faced. He encouraged the public to visit the organization’s website and donate.  Find out more about the center by visiting www.mifreedomcenter.org.

Advertisement