Vietnam veterans repair flag holders

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(From left) Dave Cunningham, Gary Groves, Jack Cunningham and Carl Fry repaired and replaced flag holders that mark veterans’ graves at Summerford Cemetery. The volunteers are members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 746, London. (Not pictured: Terry Arbogast.)
(From left) Dave Cunningham, Gary Groves, Jack Cunningham and Carl Fry repaired and replaced flag holders that mark veterans’ graves at Summerford Cemetery. The volunteers are members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 746, London. (Not pictured: Terry Arbogast.)

(Posted July 9, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 746, London, made multiple trips to Summerford Cemetery this summer. Their mission: to replace or fix the brass flag holders that mark veterans’ graves.

“We put flags out there for Memorial Day and noticed that some of the flag holders needed work,” said Dave Cunningham, a Vietnam War veteran and VVA 746 commander.

Summerford Cemetery sits along State Route 56 in Somerford Township, not far from Choctaw Lake. Approximately 500 veterans are buried there, some of whom who fought in the Civil War.

VVA 746 made it a chapter project to fix and straighten any damaged flag holders, using a tool they fashioned specifically for the job. They also replaced those that were missing or beyond repair. In total, they fixed 80 holders and replaced 35.

Funding for the project came from the Madison County Veterans Commission, which annually sets aside money for marker upkeep and flags at all of the cemeteries. Cunningham is a member of the commission.

The Summerford Cemetery project is one example of the volunteer work VVA 746 members do. They also speak to school students at least twice a year about what it means to be a veteran. In conjunction with West Jefferson Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005, VVA 746 members serve on color guards at veterans’ funerals.

The VVA chapter is open to new members. The group’s next meeting is set for 2 p.m. July 26 at American Legion Post 105, 51 E. First St., London. Visitors are always welcome.

For more information, contact Dave Cunningham at (740) 852-0331.

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