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Kossow earns Eagle Scout honor for veteran cemetery project

Eagle Scout Kalei Kossow and his family. (Photo courtesy of Kossow Family)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Bronsten-Glenn ‘Kalei’ Kossow recently was joined by a couple hundreds friends and family as he earned his Eagle Scout honors.

The official afternoon ceremony was followed by dinner in the West Hawaii Civic Center gazebo, where Kossow enjoyed the congratulations of state and county lawmakers, county officials, teammates, scouting buddies and siblings Kaipo, Kanoe, Isaiah and Kamalani.

Kossow, a junior at Makua Lani Christian School, is the son of Chris Edward & Kristen Kam and Elmer Fukumitsu.

His grandparents are: Glenn & Barbara Kossow; Kazuo & Rose Fukumitsu; and Ronald & Sandra Kam. Great-grandparents are: Leonard (Dorothy) Shim and Valerie (Glenn) Kossow.

(Photo courtesy of Kossow Family)

At the ceremony, county Parks & Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald said he was very impressed with Kossow’s vision, commitment and dedication.

For his Eagle Scout project, Kossow wanted to improve visitors’ experience at West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery. He originally approached Fitzgerald about possibly building benches and seats.

Fitzgerald, however, had another project in mind.

“We really needed something like a brochure or pamphlet with information about the cemetery. Something that we could make available to visitors that told a little bit about the history and who was here,” Fitzgerald said. “He did a superb job. He worked really hard and it’s exactly what I was envisioning.”

Fitzgerald said Kossow developed a color brochure describing the cemetery and established an updatable data base and corresponding map for the graves of about 300 veterans and families members.

“We will be able to use this for years,” he said. “We will be updating the insert with a map of the grave sites, but the brochure is the starting point.”

By his own account, Kossow watched the development of the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery, known as the “Arlington of the Pacific.” It is situated on more than 60 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Kalei Kossow

In December 2010, while he was working on his project, the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery received “Shrine Status” by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, one of only three state-owned cemeteries to receive this award.

The initial work took roughly one year, he solicited donations, and raised more than $2,000. That money was earmarked for professional art layout work and printing costs for the initial 5,000 brochures.

Kossow reviewed county records, went to each burial site including the columbarium’s, recorded their names, and compared all records to existing county records and aerial photography. He was able to correct numerous errors.

Kossow worked with many community and veterans organizations to prepare the brochure and was delighted when the Veterans Advisory Committee and Fitzgerald debuted his brochure Memorial Day, May 30, 2011.

Now that he is an Eagle Scout, Kossow will travel to Michigan for the National Order of the Arrow Conference this summer. He will participate in a week of training, inter-lodge competitions, leadership seminars and having fun.

During his high school career, Kossow was on the golf, baseball and bowling teams and won first place in developing a community PSA commercial.

He is also active at St. Michaels Catholic Church and has volunteered with the Kailua-Kona Community Christmas Parade, Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade, Makaeo Walking and Jogging Path, Hawaii Island Food Bank,Kona Salvation Army and Kohala Hawaiian Civic Club.

He joined Boy Scouts in 2005 and earned 32 merit badges.

8 Responses to “Kossow earns Eagle Scout honor for veteran cemetery project”

  1. Sensibility says:

    You know….this really stinks. A lot of boys achieve the Eagle Scout every year on this island for a variety of reasons..but because THIS one is related to BARBARA KOSSOW he gets a a story written about him. Baron..you really stink for such obvious favoritism…..shame on you.

    • Baron says:

      The first time I had a chance to see this Eagle Scout in person was today when the County Council honored him in Hilo. He is well spoken and hopefully others attaining the rank of Eagle Scout can also be featured here. I urge others to follow and submit information and photos to news@hawaii247.com

      Frankly the first time I learned about this was when I saw it published here on Hawaii 24/7. I can’t take credit for all that’s published here so often it’s news to me too when I see it here.

    • Sassy says:

      SERIOUSLY…..it doesn’t matter WHO this young man is related to! The fact of the matter is that he earned his eagle scout and did a great deed to the families who have loved ones buried at the Veterans Cemetary. Yes there are many other young men who have earned their eagle scout on this island and they all should be recognized, but if NO ONE tells the media about it how will they be able to publish it? Think about it……NO ONE will know about each and every eagle scout unless someone in their family mentions it! It’s NOT up to the media to follow every single child around to find out their accomplishments! Don’t be a HATER just because this young man comes from a loving family who is proud to share his accomplishment!!! Instead be proud of his accomplishment and what HE did to help the COUNTY do THEIR job! This young man did the COUNTY’S JOB!

  2. Karin says:

    Hawaii 24/7 is always happy to spotlight the achievements of our island youth. While it’s not possible for us to attend every event we are invited to, we encourage families, schools and youth organizations to submit information and photos on special accomplishments anytime!

  3. Nancy R. says:

    I was both honored and humbled to be a part of this fine young man’s ceremony. This commentary should not be used as A forum to air personal grievances but to offer comments on the stories presented herein.
    My comment to The Boy Scouts of America and Young Mr. Kossow is JOB WELL DONE ! Keep up the good work and tradition of honoring young men who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. I am certain that Eagle Scout Kossow will evolve into a stronger, wiser, more productive citizen and person because of his experiences and training through this program.

  4. Randy says:

    I attended the ceremony. I was blessed and encouraged to have been invited and to see the honoring of this young gentleman, whose developing character was being supported by many. I only wish more families would promote their future leaders as I witnessed how this kind and loving ohana has responded to their own. Kalei hold your head up high, keep marching forward, remember: adversity only strengthens us. Thank you for sharing your story here. Aloha and God bless.

  5. Bronsten-Glenn Kossow says:

    Mahalo Karin for your article here on 24/7…I can’t thank you enough. Most importantly to my supporters who helped me carry out my project, including County, and Veterans groups thank you. And thank you for the ones who attended my Eagle Ceremony!!! It was truly an Honor for me!!

    Mahalo

    -Bronsten-Glenn “Kalei” Kossow

  6. Im so proud of you Kalei…Keep the good deeds…Don’t be distracted with negative remarks…They’re just jealous…You have good family that cares about you and your project and Im so proud of you.

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