Albany Times Union

Volunteers sought to fill field with flags

- By Terry Brown ▶ News of your troops and units can be sent to Duty Calls, Terry Brown , Times Union, Box 15000, Albany, NY 12212 or .

A group of patriotic people have a colorful dream of a field filled with ways to honor our nation’s heroes.

They envision filling a field with more than 1,000 American flags Memorial Day weekend as a patriotic tribute to our nation’s heroes and commemorat­e those who sacrificed their lives for our nation.

The Field of Honor will be in place for public viewing next Memorial Day weekend, May 27 to 30. Details for a dedication ceremony and program will be announced soon.

The flags will be displayed on the football field at Hoosic Valley Central School in Schaghtico­ke to remind everyone of the debt we owe veterans and military servicemen and servicewom­en, according to Marylou Pudiak-town, project co-chairwoman.

Lauren Van Buren of Schaghtico­ke, co-chairwoman, Russ Greenman of Rensselaer, fundraiser chairman, and Nancy O’donnell of Schaghtico­ke, program chairwoman, are helping Pudiaktown.

“We Americans have been blessed with citizens who answered the call to serve in the military to protect our freedoms,” Pudiak-town says. “Although we have the parades, fireworks and solemn services to show our appreciati­on of veterans, more can and should be done.”

“Basically there will be rolls and rolls of flag,” O’donnell said. “Each flag will be dedicated to a veteran that belongs to someone’s family.”

The organizers also hope their project will

help unify the community, O’donnell said.

“We hope to get a lot of people including youths, organizati­ons, businesses and others involved in the project as a way to enhance unity,” she said. “We are also hopeful the project creates an awareness of what veterans have done for us.”

“The United States flag is the great symbol of our unity, as it symbolizes our storied history, traditions and aspiration­s as fellow citizens,” says a Colonials Flag Foundation spokesman.

The Stars and Stripes display will be made possible by donations and sponsorshi­ps.

Each flag may be sponsored

to honor individual veterans or military personnel. The public is invited to purchase a flag at $40 each. The purchaser of each flag can identify a veteran or service member. A tag is placed on each flag that honors and includes a tribute to that individual.

Flags and company sponsorshi­ps can be purchased online at www.healingfie­ event/schaghtico­keny22 or by mail by check payable to Field of Honor, put Schaghtico­ke, N.Y., in memo line, and send to Colonial Flag Foundation, 9362 S. 3090 West, Sandy, UT 84070. Donations are also encouraged. For informatio­n, contact Marilou

Pudiak-town at (518) 423-5281 or Donations for company sponsorshi­p packages are $5,000 for gold package, $2,500 for silver, and $1,000 for bronze.

Volunteers will be needed to mount 3-by-5 foot flags on 7½-foot poles and perform other tasks. If interested in volunteeri­ng, contact Pudiak-town at (518) 423-5281.

In-kind services are also needed for preparatio­n and operating the event that will require portable lighting, a sound system, stage, tents, food for volunteers and more.

Proceeds will benefit the Capital Region Patriot

Flight, a nonprofit Honor Flight organizati­on that flies World War II through Vietnam War veterans on a one-day free excursion from the Albany Internatio­nal Airport to Washington, D.C. The veterans visit war memorials, historic sites and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery.

Patriot Flight flies between 50 and 100 World War II through Vietnam War veterans and their guardians on Southwest Airlines flights.

“Donations, no matter how small, are integral in determinin­g the success of this event,” said Pudiak-town. “We hope to send 100 veterans to Washington, D.C. next fall. In-kind and financial donations also will help us reach that goal. Any monetary amount will help prepare the field for the event and send veterans to Washington.”

Between noon and 4 p.m. on May 30, flag purchasers can pick up and take their flags home.

The Field of Honor is a nonprofit Colonial Flag Foundation event. The foundation helps groups raise funds for worthy causes. Last year, the foundation posted more than 80,000 flags.

Aid hospital programs

Jewish War Veterans Capital District Council members didn’t let COVID-19 derail their efforts to donate hundreds of dollars to the Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Albany Post 105 and Schenectad­y Post 106 donated $720 to programs and services coordinate­d by the Stratton VA Volunteer Services.

“This really makes a huge difference for us,” said Michael Fitzpatric­k, volunteer services manager, after the donation was made on Christmas Eve. “Just having you come out today to show your support helps us. We really appreciate it.”

Jewish War Veterans members Rich Dolins, Harian Harrison, Paul Zonderman, Richard Goldenberg, Bill Jaffe, Post 105 Commander Fred Altman, and Post 106 Commander Gene Altman presented the funds to Fitzpatric­k.

 ?? Colonial Flag Foundation ?? A volunteer places an American flag in a field.
Colonial Flag Foundation A volunteer places an American flag in a field.

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