Veterans Hotline: Join Rotary Club, support patriotic flag display in town

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I hope businesses and individuals will join with the Rotary Club of Craig and support the patriotic flag display in our town during special events and national patriotic holidays.

Since many Rotary members are new to the area, I want to recap the history of the flags along the main street these past few years.

Lincoln Cleverly, 13, took on this task as his Eagle Scout project with BSA Troop 198 in order to raise funds to attend the National Scout Jamboree in Washington, D.C. Lincoln's parents, Derek and Lani, own and operate Jackson's Supply/Radio shack.

Lincoln researched that in the 1920s, after World War I, the federal government wanted a "Victory Highway" to stretch across the country.

Craig's city council changed the name of "Main Street" to "Victory Way," since Highway 40 was a major transportation corridor at that time.

Lincoln's goal was to continue to honor our veterans by having American flags adorning "Victory Highway" through Craig on patriotic holidays.

From 2001 to 2006, Lincoln and his family set out the flags, until he left for Fort Lewis College in Durango to major in international business.

While most of the community slept, Lincoln, his brother, dad and mom -- towing a trailer filled with flags -- pounded in rebar and set the flags along the roadway.

He also helped several other scouts (Steven Crisp, Peter Bassitch, Brian Graler and Clay Sanders) go to summer scout camps by reimbursing them for helping place the flags.

His efforts not only decorated Craig for various holidays --but also were directly instrumental for the program in Rangely after a woman visited Craig and saw the main street decked out. She returned to her own town to start a similar patriotic display.

Lincoln's rewards for these years of service are best remembered by the letters and phone calls he received from the local community and/or people passing through the days the flags were flying free -- besides seeing other scouts from Troop 198 attend summer camps while working towards their own Eagle Scout rank.

Flag retirement

ceremony

This office and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Post and the Moffat County fairgrounds are working together to sponsor a Flag Retirement day at the Fairgrounds this spring.

Anyone wishing to properly retire his or her used American flag can drop those flags off at the VFW post or at the American Legion Post.

If you are a business or community agency and wish to participate, please give me a call. We also would like to invite any Boy Scout, Cub Scout, Brownie or Girl Scout troop to participate.

If there are other service organizations, such as the Elks or Rotary, that would need to dispose of flags or would like to assist in the ceremony, please contact me.

Sew Much Comfort

The Sew Much Comfort project in Craig is being driven and sewn by Mary Walters of the VFW Post 4265 Ladies Auxiliary.

Mary has taken on this project to provide custom-made adaptive clothing, free of charge, to our injured service members. This adaptive clothing accommodates their medical devices and situations, provides ease of use, personal independence and minimizes the visual impact of their medical condition.

Sew Much Comfort is a volunteer organization that started in 2004 with a single pair of "fixator" pants so a solider could receive his Purple Heart in something besides his hospital gown.

We all know how private those drafty gowns are. Imagine receiving special honors being so attired. Their goal is to provide each recuperating client an individually designed/tailored wardrobe of adaptive clothing in order to provide them comfort, maintain their dignity, which facilitates the healing process and their reentry into society and return to their family/community.

Ten other women were recruited to sew adaptive clothing for other service personnel at Walter Reed Medical Center. From that start, an article in Sew News magazine generated 500 inquiries from volunteer seamstresses asking how they could help. Sew Much Comfort became a 501c3 public charity in 2005, delivering more than 7,000 items of adaptive clothing that year alone. In 2006, more than 20,000 items were delivered to our troops in the U.S.A. and medical triage facilities in Germany.

Donations of funds or sewing services would be used to purchase materials/supplies to make the clothing, fund the shipment to volunteer seamstresses and then ship finished products to the servicemen and women in medical facilities here in the U.S., Germany and Iraq. Some funds will be earmarked to develop and then distribute informational materials to solicit donations. Sew Much Comfort has volunteers in almost every state. Mary Walters is the local contact in Craig. She can be reached at 824-2923. She would appreciate any funding for materials or other volunteer seamstress efforts. She also can answer any other questions you might have regarding this organization.

Attention bikers

Anyone interested in joining the American Legion Rider group, please contact Donald R. Cronk at 970 824-3623 for more information.

For info on these programs &/or other Veterans benefits please call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay Street (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call (970) 824-3246 or use the fax (970) 824-7108. Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net. The office is open from 8:30am to 12:30, Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only.

Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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