A Gateway High School student who has been a Girl Scout for 10 years will receive the organization’s most prestigious award in May for interviewing military veterans and compiling them into a book.
Megan McCafferty, 17, put together a book entitled “Freedom is Not Free, a Compilation of Veterans’ Stories” after noticing a general disrespect among her peers for veterans and patriotism.
The book has earned her the highest achievement available in the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania. It contains “horrific” stories of war and some “funny” stories from around 30 local veterans who served in World War II, Vietnam, Korea and Desert Storm, she said.
The Ambassador of Troop 50316 started the project in January 2017 after hearing her grandfather’s stories from being a soldier in the Vietnam War.
“Learning his story was so meaningful,” she said, adding she hopes her book, “Freedom is Not Free,” will inspire her peers to show more respect for patriotism.
“Freedom is not free … the country is the way it is because of (veterans),” she said.
The junior at Gateway High School finished the project earlier this month.
Limited copies of the book, 65 pages, will be available at the Gateway High School and Gateway Middle School libraries. She hopes to make it available at the Monroeville Library.
“I think I might put it up for sale. But for right now, it’ll just be in libraries,” she said.
McCafferty said she plans to study secondary education at Slippery Rock University after graduating high school. She wants to be a history teacher.
All high school Girl Scouts are eligible to receive a Gold Award. Winners are selected based on various criterion and receive a competitive edge when applying to colleges and universities. Some institutions offer scholarships to Gold Award recipients, according to Girl Scouts’ website.