By Mary Moore
For this year’s Veterans Day, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 966 in Seven Lakes will fly more than 300 American flags in honor of military servicemen and women.
Each 3-foot-by-5-foot flag bears the name of a veteran or active soldier from a U.S. conflict, alive or deceased. Rows of flags will be planted in the space near the West End Fire and Rescue building at the intersection of N.C. 211 and N.C 73. An opening ceremony will take place on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.
“It’s yet another great opportunity to recognize our veterans,” said VVA Chapter 966 Director Jack Bergquist.
To fly a flag in honor of a friend or loved one, you can print the application form from the organization’s website or pick one up at The Sandhills Winery, 1057 Seven Lakes Drive, or West End Fire and Rescue, 4203 NC 73.
All forms will need to be submitted by Oct. 15, and should be returned to the same location. The same deadline applies to those who decided to take home their flags in previous years, and would like to return them to be raised again in 2021, free of cost.
A new application will still need to be completed and submitted with the flag. For anyone who left their flag with the VAA after last year’s display, there’s no need to register again.
The cost to dedicate a flag is $15. Checks should be mailed to VVA, Chapter 966, Attn: Mike Shapiro, treasurer, PO Box 1073, West End, NC 27376.
The Seven Lakes community’s response to Chapter 966 VVA Field of Honor is unfailingly enthusiastic, said Bergquist. “We get all kinds of fantastic comments from everyone. From truck drivers beeping their horns to people stopping by to ask us about it.”
Bergquist is one of the primary organizers behind the event and has been involved with the chapter since its founding in 2006. In the past he has served as president, and now handles much of the fundraising.
He is proud of how the chapter has grown and how much money members have raised over the years for veterans, active-duty soldiers and military spouses in the community who are in need.
Among the rows of red, white and blue this November, a flag will be planted in Berquist’s honor for time spent in Vietnam, and another for his father, who served in WWII. There will also be time set aside to recognize the bravery of recently passed WII hero Ray Lambert, who was beloved by many in the Seven Lakes community.
If you have questions about the application process, please contact Sandi Carl by phone at 910-673-7711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Mary Moore at (910) 692-2462 or email@example.com.