CLARKSVILLE — It takes a community to pitch in and do the work usually done by one man.
“Every year my brother, Allen Wood, a Vietnam veteran, volunteers his time to place 400 flags on the graves of veterans in Clarksville Cemetery,” said Noni Wood.
However, she said Allen had a stroke in past year, so “she reached out to the community to give him a hand — and did they show up!”
Boy Scout Troop & Pack #155 and the Clinton-Massie Naturals baseball team were among those who volunteered for flag duties.
Noni shared words from one scout who told her, “Thanks for inviting me, I learned a lot about veterans and respect. I really enjoyed putting the flags out.” Noni added that “each of those young boys shook Allen’s hand and thanked him for his service.”
“It was very special to spend time with my friend, Mr. Allen Wood, during this project,” said Mike Daugherty, Troop 999 Adult Leader. “He has been decorating the graves, and the town, for several years. He has done most of the work himself, but always welcomes any friends who want to participate. Some folks have donated to purchase flags, but the majority of the money comes from his pocket. Lowe’s in Wilmington was kind enough to give him a discounted price on the flags he bought this year, but he still spent quite a bit personally on this project.
“Allen loves our country and loves to honor its vets,” Daugherty added. “He is a Vietnam veteran himself, so he understands service and sacrifice.
Daugherty said that, in the process of replacing the flags, several of the volunteers identified graves of veterans which previously had not been decorated with flags.
“We have learned that if metal flag holders are missing or damaged, they can be obtained from the Veterans Service Commission,” he said. “They need to know in which service era the veteran served (for instance, a Civil War era veteran or World War II era veteran) and which cemetery needs the marker. Sometimes they have them in stock, but some need to be ordered.
Daugherty commended all the boys from Troop 155 and the Clinton-Massie Naturals, adding that “many other adults and children from the Clarksville area did a great job and learned a lot from helping Mr. Wood with this project.”
Boy Scout Troop & Pack #155 will be hosting the Memorial Day services Monday, May 27 at 10 a.m. at Clarksville Cemetery. Following the service everyone invited to an Ice Cream Social at the Clarksville Methodist Church.