You may have read or heard in the media recently about the St. Charles County Veterans Working Group. Members recently hosted their seventh annual flag collection event on June 14, Flag Day.
It was another successful event with a collection of more than 330 old and worn United States flags. What is amazing is that this year’s number took them to over 10,000 total collections! This is a great, and evidently much-needed, service they provide for the community to make certain flags are retired honorably.
The Veterans Best Practices Working Group, comprised of County employees who are veterans, was formed by St. Charles County Government in 2014 to foster an employment-friendly environment for those who have served in the armed forces of the United States. The group encourages businesses in the St. Charles County community, including St. Charles County Government, to develop veteran-friendly employment practices and to inform veterans seeking employment of opportunities and benefits.
When I asked the St. Charles County Council to pass a bill to establish this group in 2014, I said: “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country. We need to do all that we can to welcome them back into civilian labor force with open arms.”
I believe this group has been instrumental in helping us do that. While we don’t require employees to identify themselves to us as veterans, the names of those who do are kept in a database so that we can remind them about the group’s activities and mission. We currently have more than 80 employee veterans who represent the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard Reserve.
It is with pride that the Veterans Best Practices Working Group members have this collection event each year for the flag under which they serve or served our country. Dennis Wiss, a Marine Corps veteran, member of the group and director of the St. Charles County Regional Airport-Smartt Field, said it best in one of our recent news releases: “The American Flag is the symbol of our nation. It’s important to us to ensure these flags are disposed of respectfully because that also represents the respect we have for our country.”
You can make certain your old or worn U.S. flag is honored and disposed of respectfully at any time by dropping them off at one of two collection boxes: the front of the St. Charles County Administration Building, 201 N. Second St. in St. Charles, or at the memorial garden in Veterans Tribute Park, 1031 Kisker Road in Weldon Spring.
This Fourth of July – Independence Day – when you celebrate with fireworks, pool parties and apple pie, remember to fly your flag and think of our veterans who made, and still are making, certain that we have our independence.
Have a safe and happy holiday and summer!