"We did a bone marrow drive through Eagle River, and Eagle River became number-one in the nation per capita on the bone marrow registry," Grohol said.

And with any successful tight knit community, communication and recognition are both important.

Bowers said Eagle River’s famed landmark Yellow Rock plays that role. Right now it’s being used as a memorial for Ravenwood Elementary student Caelan Rainey who passed away recently.

But it’s also a directional landmark.

"Boy there would be a lot of cold pizzas if we didn't have yellow rock," Bowers said. "People use Yellow Rock as a landmark; they say I’m two driveways up on the right past Yellow Rock."

Treasured childhood memories come easily here, especially for Martin.

The North Fork Trails, for the 18-year-old are where some of the most memorable moments took place along the river.

"I was hiking along this trail with my dad and my dog falls in the river, so that was so scary,” Martin said. “My dad went in and saved him and we turned around and my dog was actually running away from a moose."

Martin went on to become the 2012 Miss Bear Paw, representing her community at many functions. But it was her involvement in a JR ROTC summer camp at JBER that changed her life. More specifically, the ride she took on a Blackhawk helicopter.

"The Blackhawk really just took my heart and I decided from the moment I was up in the air in that bird that that's what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," Martin said.

And those moments are common for Eagle River residents, and they treasured them in their community.

"I can't imagine living anywhere else,” Braham. “I love to travel and I can't wait to get home.”

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