In support of the American Legion’s Americanism pillar, Kinney-Melquist Post 34 in St. George, Maine, had been looking for an old US Mailbox to convert into a U.S. Flag Drop Box for the community. Several months ago a local fisherman came forward. He heard of our search and had an old (1966) mailbox on his property that he was willing to donate. He wasn’t quite sure of its history, but said we were welcome to it. Even though it was in pretty rough shape with plenty of dents and lots of rust, we jumped at the chance. So, what to do next?
The Post approached our local collision repair shop to see if the box was salvageable. That’s when Larry Oakes, owner of Automaster’s Collision Service, and his team of professionals in Spruce Head, Maine, came to the rescue. After some rust removal and cleaning by Legionnaire Andy Mathieson of Aqua Terra Vapor Blasting, they decided the box was certainly salvageable. Once Automaster's completed the “body work,” KDK Vinyl donated patriotic decals as the finishing touch for the restoration. The three companies each donated their materials and labor to the local veterans of the St. George community.
Now installed just outside the Post Legion Hall on Main Street, Tenants Harbor, the restored and camouflage-painted flag box has already received the first flags for disposal.
Every Memorial Day, Post 34 along with local Grange volunteers and the Boy and Girl Scouts, place a new flag on every veteran’s grave in St. George. Those flags are removed after Veterans Day and at the recent Flag Retirement Ceremony the Scouts retired over 200 flags that had been collected throughout the year. Post 34 offers new U.S., state, and service flags for purchase by the community.
Our sincere thanks to Automaster's, Aqua Terra, and KDK Vinyl for their incredible work. Remember to bring your faded, soiled, torn and damaged flags to your local Legion post so they can be retired with the respect and pride they deserve as the symbol of freedom around the world.
Photo: (L to R) Post Commander, Randy Deutsch, Legionnaire Andy Mathieson (Aqua Terra), Automaster team – “Woody” Woodwood, Cameron Smith, Larry Oakes, Jeff Cusumamo, Lindsey Austin, Trina Johnson (KDK Vinyl), and 1st Vice Commander, Thornton Batty, Jr.