Scouts to place flags on Saturday

By LARRY C. BOWERS
Posted 5/24/19

The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of the Ocoee District will be presented with more than 2,100 small American flags Saturday morning at the Bradley County Courthouse, a continuation of a longtime …

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Scouts to place flags on Saturday

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The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of the Ocoee District will be presented with more than 2,100 small American flags Saturday morning at the Bradley County Courthouse, a continuation of a longtime community tradition.

The Scouts are partners with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Lodge 2598, in placing American flags on gravesites at local cemeteries and burial sites during the Memorial Day weekend each year.

This practice appeared to be in jeopardy this year, until a new partner stepped up to assist.

Approximately 2,100 of the small flags were stored at the old VFW Post Home,  but were lost when the structure was destroyed by fire  last September.

The veterans organization had insurance on the building, but it did not cover items inside the building.

Cleveland's Woodmen Life Chapter 26, the former Woodmen of the World, has joined this holiday effort, which will benefit local residents, especially the families of military veterans.

The Woodmen have purchased around 1,900 flags, to be added to roughly 200 the VFW had on hand. Cost of the additional flags is $500 to $600.

Regional Scout leaders, Brent Baker (BSA District Executive) and Kelly Browand (Ocoee District Committee Chair) contacted the Woodmen and asked for assistance with the VFW program.

This annual Memorial Day program is more than just the placement of the flags by the scouts. It is also a partnership program for the VFW, the scouts, and now Woodmen Life.

The participating scouts will be recognized with a noon hot dog meal following the placement of the flags at local gravesites on Saturday. The luncheon will be at the American Legion Post 81, and prepared by the VFW Auxiliary. Auxiliary President Melissa Lane is coordinating this event.

This annual flag ceremony will be prior to Memorial Day on Monday. The scouts will be working throughout that morning Saturday, placing the flags.

Also, as part of the agreement, the event is a small fundraiser for the scouts in the Ocoee District. The VFW pays the scouts  10 cents for each flag returned, following the holiday.

VFW Quartermaster Ernie Griggs explained this payment guarantees a majority of the flags will be available for the following year.

"We will still have to replace a few flags, but that is better than the possibility of having to replace hundreds," he emphasized. 

When you see the small, U.S. flags, on community gravesites this Memorial Day weekend, you can give thanks to the scouts, the VFW, and Woodmen Life.

  

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