Friday, September 11, 2020

Cornerbrook II residents dedicate new flagpole for community

Members of the American Legion Color Guard line up prior
to the dedication of a new flagpole honoring the
contributions of veterans at the Cornerbrook II
condominium complex on Sept. 4 in Windham.
From left are VFW Post 10643 Commander Willie
Goodman, American Legion members Richard Drapeau,
Linwood Bailey, Craig Pride, Dave Rendell, and Walter Braley,
who is one of the oldest VFW Post 10643 and an
American Legion member and a resident of Cornerbook II.

By Ed Pierce
Across the nation for the past 244 years, the American flag has been flown as a tribute of remembrance and a reminder of the freedom that Americans cherish. And flying the flag is a great way of expressing appreciation for the men and women who have served the United States while protecting that freedom and liberty.
On Friday, Sept. 4, residents and a contingent of veterans from Windham’s VFW Post 106443 gathered near the entrance of the Cornerbook II condominiums to dedicate a new flagpole created for the community by volunteers.
The flagpole project was funded through donations and used available space in the existing Cornerbrook II rock garden at the entrance to the condominium complex.
Those instrumental in getting the project off the ground were Walter and Nina Braley, Jerry and Cindy Beaulieu and Phil and Janice Perry, all Cornberbrook II residents.
Janice Perry has lived in Cornerbrook II for the past 2 ½ years and said the initiative was launched to remember the contributions of veterans living in the complex. the dedication ceremony, Walter Braley, a member of Windham VFW Post 10643, raised the new flag for all to see entering the Cornerbrook II community.
At the age of 88, Braley is one of the oldest members of the VFW post and served in the First Marine Division Dog Company during the 1950s. He was stationed in Korea for 14 months, mostly in the Demilitarized Zone and proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years.
He is a member of both American Legion Post 148 and VFW Post 10643 in Windham.
Braley asked VFW Post 10643 Commander Willie Goodman if he could attend the event and conduct the flag-raising ceremony.
“I then asked our color guard to participate and we are all honored to be a part of this ceremony,” Goodman said. “The flag will be a reminder of our great country and the special patriotic community of the people of Cornerbrook II.”
Goodman said that Braley is known at the VFW post as their “Membership Guru" because of his commitment to the VFW and his larger than life personality.
Since the national VFW organization was founded in 1899, Goodman said that the VFW has enacted many programs and services geared to meet the current needs of America's service members, veterans and military families, as well to meet community needs worldwide, Goodman said. By assisting with Department of Veterans Affairs claims assistance, legislative advocacy, troop support programs, youth activities, community service and scholarships and assisting in local events such as the Cornerbrook II flagpole dedication are some of the ways the VFW works to give back to veterans.
According to Goodman, the VFW Post 10643 currently has 77 members.
“We sponsor Windham's Boy Scout Troop 805 and they use our facility to hold their meetings.  All veterans are encouraged to contact the VFW for whatever their needs may be and either we will help them or know where to direct them,” he said. “Even though we are located in Windham, the VFW slogan is ‘Veterans Helping Veterans’ and we strive to live by that motto so any veteran in any town should feel free to contact us.”
He said that many times the VFW find veterans who aren't aware of services they could benefit from or don't know who to call to answer specific questions they may have.
“Our members are more than comrades, they genuinely care about each other and we want veterans to reach out to us if we can be of any assistance,” Goodman said. all, about 30 to 40 residents of Cornerbrook II attended the flagpole dedication event and Perry said it was a fitting and patriotic way to cap off work performed by the volunteers in transforming the project from an idea to a reality.
“For everyone who worked on this, it certainly was a labor of love,” Perry said. “Our community is indebted to the members of the VFW for sending the color guard and for being so committed to this project. All of us in the Cornerbook II community are very grateful for their help with this.” <

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