Legion salutes Oak Harbor seniors with new flag and rotating pole

American Legion members Manny Valenzula and Dennis Jones present a new American flag to Oak Harbor Senior Services Director Mike McIntyre, center, Thursday.  - Kathy Reed/Whidbey News-Times
American Legion members Manny Valenzula and Dennis Jones present a new American flag to Oak Harbor Senior Services Director Mike McIntyre, center, Thursday.
— image credit: Kathy Reed/Whidbey News-Times

The stars and stripes are flying a little brighter and a little more securely in front of the Oak Harbor Senior Center today, thanks to members of the American Legion George Morris Post 129.

In a brief presentation Thursday, American Legion members Manny Valenzula, Dennis Jones and W.D. Mayotte gave the center a new American flag and a new flag pole.

“We saw the old flag was getting worn, so we offered to replace it,” said Mayotte, the post’s finance officer. “The flag keeps getting wrapped around the pole, so the new assembly rotates to help prevent that.”

Senior services director Mike McIntyre said he was surprised at first when Legion members contacted him, but very happy to accept the gift.

“At a time when we’re watching our pennies very closely, this really helps,” he said. “Now we’ve got this reminder of their service to the community, and we’ll think about them every time we see the flag.”

“When the flag’s not out there, people notice,” said senior center program coordinator Roxann Dunn-Terry. “When we didn’t have it out there, three people came to me personally to ask why it wasn’t there.”

The rotating assembly on the pole will help extend the life of the new flag.

“It will be nice having that rotating cap,” said McIntyre. “I’m out there all the time fixing that when it wraps around the pole. We get a lot of wind, so this will help.”

Mayotte said the new flag and pole cost about $100.

“It doesn’t cost us that much, so why not do it for the community?” he said. “Why not give back to the community when it’s given us so much?”

The American Legion also accepts worn or dirty flags that need to be disposed of properly. There is an old mailbox in the Legion’s entrance hall where the flags can be dropped off.

The flags are saved and disposed of in formal flag-burning ceremonies.

The George Morris Post of the American Legion is located at 690 SE Barrington, Oak Harbor.




Flag Day flag stories presented

In honor of Flag Day, the program “27 Flags” will be presented at 1 p.m. Monday, June 11 at the Oak Harbor Senior Center, 51 SE Jerome St.

See all 27 flags that have flown over the United States and hear the story behind each.

The program will be presented by retired Army 1st Sgt. Judy Leu, from Renton. Refreshments will be served.

RSVP by calling the front desk at 279-4580.



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