Vets Serving Vets invited the public to an open house on Wednesday, officially opening their new office at Fountain Square at the corner of 20th Street and Cumberland Avenue in Middlesboro. It was a packed house.
“I think this new building really stands out on that corner,” said Vets Serving Vets member David Thompson. “Vets Serving Vets now has a central location and Middlesboro is an awesome place.”
Representatives from the Bell County Chamber of Commerce were in attendance for an official ribbon cutting. Members of the Vets Serving Vets also presented liquid metal POW American flags to the fire department and the Middlesboro Police Department along with a plaque honoring each.
“It’s really nice,” said Firefighter/EMT Chris England. “It’s really great to receive something like this – to be recognized. We really appreciate it.”
Firefighter/EMT Derrell White concurred adding, ” If it wasn’t for what these vets have done we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
The flag given to the firefighters had a red line and the one for the police was adorned with a blue line. The lines represent “the thin blue line” for the police and the red the same for the firefighters.
Patrolman Harvey Johnson and Lt. Tom Busic accepted their flag on behalf of the Middlesboro Police Department.
We are absolutely tickled with it,” said Busic. “We appreciate the support of the community and especially that of Vets Serving Vets.”
These lines represent brotherhood,” said Vets Serving Vets Commander Doug Bayless. “When these flags are hanging up in their stations and they see those lines it might remind them – hey check on your brother, just like vets do.”
The group took up a collection amongst themselves to purchase the the liquid metal flags they presented. None of the funds they raise to help fellow vets in the community were used.
Dr. Kimberly Taylor of Beacon of Light Family Chiropractic also made an official presentation of the $2,500 they had raised for the group.
“Thank you is not enough,” said Taylor. “The sacrifices that these men and women have demonstrated is beyond words. Just being able to give back to help them and help them support the veterans in our community is something we have had the desire in our hearts to do. This a small way we can contribute back.”
Vets Serving Vets will be at the third Annual Christmas Shopping Expo at the National Guard Armory on Saturday. The group will be providing food and drinks for the event.
Reach William Tribell at 606 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn