By Tony Parra
War veterans will be patrolling the local terrain during the weekend in a mission of remembrance.
Veterans and members of the community will be placing miniature flags on the grave sites of those who served in protecting the country at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Organizers said they are looking for people who want to volunteer to place flags.
“We definitely could use the help,” said James Marsh of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 31. “There are over 500 graves for veterans in Portales.”
Marsh said there are also grave sites in Elida, Floyd, Dora and Causey, but there aren’t enough veterans to post flags in those communities.
He said family members — including those in the outlying communities — can pick up flags at the VFW post.
“If any citizens have loved ones who we missed, we invite people to come out and help and we can give them flags,” Marsh said.
Kevin Robbins is another war veteran who belongs to the VFW Post and participates in the flag posting event. Robbins said he is a veteran of the U.S. Marines and served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield from 1988 to 1994. Robbins said Roosevelt County residents have always been good about community support.
“One of the things you’ll find, which is a unique quality of Roosevelt County, is that they will come out and help,” Robbins said. “There is always good community effort and it’s no different with the posting of the flags.”
Robbins and Marsh said the main objective of the flag posting on Saturday is to remember those who served the United States in time of war.
“It’s a day to appreciate the veterans,” Robbins said. “They can be recognized for all of their efforts.”
Marsh also said residents should keep in mind those who are currently serving in Iraq.
“We worry about those in harms way,” Marsh said. “We want them to come home safe. It’s tough for them right now. You don’t know who to trust. Especially in this war. One moment you’ll be shaking hands with someone and later on that same person will be pointing a gun at you.”
Marsh said members of the VFW will pick up the flags on Tuesday.
The American Legion will also have services on Memorial Day, beginning at 10:30 a.m, according to Joe Blair, veteran of war and commander of American Legion Post 31. The services will take place at the Portales cemetery.
The services will include readings and tributes to war veterans.