You don’t have to be an adult to bring some good to your community, and Hoboken-based Girl Scout Troop 12022 proves just that. Troop 12022 took part in a recent project that shined a spotlight on local veterans for their Bronze Award Troop, and chose to make a documentary-style film celebrating local veterans and their stories. Over a period of six months, members of the troop met with, interviewed, and filmed veterans belonging to the American Legion Post 107. On camera, these vets shared their stories of service spanning all the way from World War II to present day.
“To achieve this award, the girls explored their community to come up with ideas that would make a difference in their community,” Troop leader Valerie Sessa said over e-mail. “When they spoke to members of the Hoboken American Legion, the girls realized that many of them had relatives or knew someone in the service, and loved hearing their stories, and the idea for this video was born.”
(From L to R: Teagan Clark, Arza Bhalla, Dalia Duran, and Daniel Sudler)
The film — which runs about 20 minutes long — focuses on the war stories of the interviewed vets, from the poignant and heart-warming to the downright unsettling. Stories include what it was like to live amongst communism in a communistic war, dodging bullets during the Tet Offensive and learning the Vietnamese culture, traveling on a troop transport ship across the Atlantic Ocean while navigating storms and torpedoes, and an anecdote about Frank Sinatra being booed for cutting ahead of a line of Korean War draftees.
“They wanted to find Hoboken veterans and capture their stories in a way that could be shared with the community,” Sessa added.
Troop 12002 is made up of 14 fifth-grade girls from various schools throughout Hoboken. Each individual troop member put in over 20 hours to make the video a reality.
The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can obtain. The next steps within the Girl Scout awards system are a Silver and Gold Award — the highest honor a Girl Scout Senior can earn.
Stories From Hoboken Heroes, Waiting to Be Heard premieres at the Hoboken Historical Museum on Thursday, June 21 at 6:30PM. Event admission is a donation, which will raise funds to build a new six-apartment home for the post, ultimately housing homeless veterans.
Kudos to these amazing young ladies for their contributions to our community!