Lions, Optimists united in service to U.S. flag

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Members of the Perry Lions and Perry Optimist clubs donned their face masks and kept their social distance Wednesday morning as they raised some 250 U.S. flags around town for Veterans Day.

Staff Sgt. Darrel Edwards of Stuart, left, and Sgt. Ben Gilge of Guthrie Center, members of the U.S. Army’s 1168th Transportation Company, headquartered in Perry, were stationed outside the Perry Hy-Vee for Veterans Day. The 1168th also has subordinate units stationed in Audubon and Marshalltown.

In the darkness of Veterans Day morning, members of the Perry Lions and Perry Optimist clubs donned their face masks and kept their social distance as they raised some 250 U.S. flags around town, bringing the fifth year of the Flags Over Perry project near to a successful conclusion.

On duty at 6 a.m. sharp at the entrance to the Perry Hy-Vee were members of the U.S. Army’s 1168th Transportation Company, headquartered in Perry. Staffing medium tactical truck company’s crew were Sgt. Ben Gilge of Guthrie Center and Staff Sgt. Darrel Edwards of Stuart. The 1168th has subordinate units stationed in Audubon and Marshalltown.

The annual Veterans Day program and ceremonies, hosted Perry Community School District, were observed in a non-traditional manner this year out of respect for the health and wellbeing of our community’s veterans and residents and in light of the surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in Iowa.

The Lion and Optimist volunteers started raising the flags at 6:30 a.m. and will lower them about 4 p.m.

For a fee of $25, Perry residents can have the Perry Lions and Perry Optimists plant an American Flag on their property on five federal holidays yearly. Interested residents can fill out an order form or contact Perry Lion Dave Wright at 515-240-7281.

Money raised from the flag project funds Optimist Club scholarships for Perry youth and Lions Club projects such as eyeglasses for the needy, seeing-eye dogs, summer camp for handicapped children and many other worthwhile activities.

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