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Flag day ceremony set

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1322 at 23 N. 20th St. in Van Buren will conduct a flag retirement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Local Boy Scouts will be part of the ceremony as VFW members will teach flag etiquette and the proper retirement of the nation’s flag as well as state and other service flags.

Invited guests include state Reps. Gary Deffenbaugh and Charlene Fite, Congressman Steve Womack, Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman and Crawford County Judge John Hall.

After the flag retirement ceremony, light refreshments will be served, according to Matthew Hicks, quartermaster-elect.

The local post is planning a repair and upgrade workday.

“We are the oldest VFW post in Arkansas,” Hicks said. “We are very proud of the legacy our senior veterans created when our building was first constructed and how they are now entrusting us with its care. We are currently working with our esteemed legislators to help facilitate a grant to hopefully cover the major repairs our facility desperately requires along with a few upgrades that would better serve our veterans and our community.”

Total cost of repairs has been estimated at $21,990, which includes $8,800 for a new roof, $6,190 for an acoustical ceiling with insulation, $5,000 for lighting and electrical improvements and $2,000 for heating and air-conditioning.

The local post and its ladies auxiliary have begun a Partners in Pride program.

“This program was established to allow the general public to make donations to help facilitate these repairs in memory of present or past service members,” Hicks said.

Donations may be sent to 23 N. 20th St., Van Buren, AR 72956.

To be a member of the VFW, a service member would have had to receive a campaign medal for overseas service, have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea or have ever received hostile fire or imminent danger pay.

One of the local members, Eck Rowland, recently turned 90. Rowland is one of the oldest members and one of the few remaining World War II veterans.

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