OSWEGO, NY – Thank a Service Member, Inc., an Oswego-based not-for-profit charitable organization, has partnered with local organizations to provide a convenient way for the community to retire unserviceable flags, according to Thank a Service Member founder and board president Peter Allen.
Thank a Service Member, whose mission includes community projects and support programs for veterans, active military members and their families, has developed and installed collection boxes for retired United States flags throughout the community.
The boxes are available in the main lobby of City Hall in Oswego; Oswego County Federal Credit Union branch offices at the Oswego east side, Fulton and Mexico locations; and American Legion Post 587 at 873 Oneida St. in Fulton.
VFW Post 569 in Fulton has also recently partnered with Thank a Service Member and will be installing a collection box shortly.
Thank a Service Member volunteers will collect these flags throughout the year and will bring them to local watchfire ceremonies, which include a large fire and respectful flag burning.
Modern-day watchfires stem from a long military tradition where following a long battle, a fire would be started so those missing or lost could locate and rejoin their comrades.
Today these watchfires are held annually to commemorate service members who never returned from battle.
“We greatly appreciate the support that has been shown for Thank a Service Member and this new community US flag retirement project,” said Allen. “The financial support of the Oswego County Federal Credit Union, and associated partnerships with the of the city of Oswego, the Fulton American Legion and VFW has allowed this wonderful initiative to happen.”
“The city of Oswego is proud to offer a collection box to respect our flag, honor our military, and support our nation’s veterans. Thank A Service Member is an excellent organization supporting our veterans and I look forward to partnering with them on more initiatives in the future,” said Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow.
According to Bill Carhart, CEO at Oswego County Federal Credit Union, the flag project is yet another Thank a Service Member initiative that the Oswego-based credit union is proud to support.
“We believe strongly in the mission of Thank a Service Member and are proud to have been an ongoing supporter of their community efforts since their beginning,” said Carhart. “This new project and having collection boxes at our branch offices provides community members with convenient locations to retire their flags and we are pleased to support this effort.”
American Legion Post 587 Representative Donna Kestner added, “We are excited to partner with Thank a Service Member on this new project, and we are proud to offer this service to our community through the collection box at our post in Fulton.”
To learn more about the flag retirement project or Thank a Service Member, Inc., please call (315) 402-5915 or visit www.ThankaServiceMember.org.