Service to the Flag

People see William Jones around town, climbing up telephone poles with a ladder that his mom purchased at a yard sale years ago.

 

His semi-annual pilgrimage through the town has one of two purposes: in the spring, Jones places the American Flags in their mounts on the poles. In the fall, he removes them for the wintertime.

Jones, who served in the United States Navy and Army National Guard from his high school years until 1992, said that he did not see his duties as a job.

“It is an honor and a privilege for me to do this, not a responsibility,” said Jones, who has been taking down and replacing the flags in Whitehall annually for the last 12 years.

“My most important hobby has been raising the flags all over Whitehall for the past dozen years,” he said. “I started doing it because of my military training and because I cared about the town. The fire company was going around to put up and take down the flags, and I decided that it was time for someone to take it up instead of having the fire company take up their time and energy and have them ready in case of an emergency.”

Jones said that he not only takes care of the flags for the town, but for those who served and fought under her banner.

“I feel that it is something that has got to be done to support our veterans,” said Jones. “I put a display of flags up at my own home every year and I have also been serving at military funerals throughout the area and I also enjoy to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the opening of events.”

Jones said that his respect for the American Flag started at an early age.

“I was in the Boy Scouts as a youth,” said Jones. “They taught you how to march and how to show respect for the flag. That’s where I started learning respect for it and for those who served.”

As Jones learned respect, he also decided to become one of the members of the military, joining the Army National Guard in Whitehall while he was still in high school.

“I was an assistant tank driver for Company A of the National Guard here in town,” said Jones. “I graduated in June of 1955 and in October, I joined the United States Navy.”

Jones went to Basic training in Bainbridge, Maryland and then was stationed near Washington, D.C. before flying to Naples, Italy to be assigned to the USS Salem.

“It was the flagship of the Sixth Fleet,” said Jones. “I was there during the Suez crisis and we traveled all over with the ship.”

Jones also served on a Naval Supply Ship, the USS Cadmen, stationed out of Norfolk, Va. Before leaving the Navy in 1959 and enlisting in the Naval Reserve.

“I was there for two years,” said Jones. “I then went back into the Navy from 1962 until 1964 and a submarine tender, where we would work at dry dock servicing the submarines.”

Jones left the Navy altogether in 1964, but then joined back with the military as a member of the Whitehall National Guard in 1988, where he served until retiring from military service in 1992 as a Staff Sergeant.

Along with military service, Jones has been a member of the Whitehall American Legion for 30 years, serving in numerous positions and helping to sing songs and tend the flags at all Legion events.

‘I love the flag and I love serving my fellow veterans,” he said

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

Scott refuses plea deal; case heading to trial

Tom Scott

By Krystle S. Morey Tom Scott is headed to trial. The former Granville mayor declined Tuesday to accept a misdemeanor […]

Mayor fills vacant trustee seat

Village trustee Mike LaChapelle

By Matthew Saari A new face sat where former deputy mayor and village trustee Walt Sandford sat at the Whitehall […]

Scotties’ for sale – again

scotties (2)

By Krystle S. Morey Less than a year after being purchased and reopened, the mainstay of Granville’s Main Street – […]

VFW searching for veteran’s family

VFW (3)

By Krystle S. Morey A Granville veteran organization is attempting to return a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and other memorabilia […]

Weekender – 07/14/17

Lakes Region Freepress – 07/14/17

Lakes_7_14_17.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 07/14/17

Northshire_7_14_17.pdf

North Country Freepress – 07/14/17

FreePress_7_14_17.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Classifieds – 07/14/17

Lakes_7_14_17.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 07/13/17

518 Wheels 7-10-17.pdf-web.pdf

Village parcel sparks angry debate at board meeting

Granville village board public comment

By Krystle S. Morey The status of a makeshift access road into the former Mettowee Fields subdivision off of North […]

Business-scamming ‘candy man’ hits area in broad scheme

akullian2

By Krystle S. Morey An alleged scammer claiming to be collecting coins for a children’s cancer charity placed phony donation […]