A new flag is dedicated to area veterans

WEIRTON – A new U.S. flag is flying high over downtown Weirton today, dedicated in honor of all area veterans who have served their country.

Just in time for Veterans Day, a new flag and flagpole were dedicated Thursday at Overbook Towers, located on Cove Road.

According to Weirton Housing Authority Director George Vargo, the flagpole, located on top of the building which overlooks much of the city’s downtown, is a project he has wanted to do for a long time.

“For many years I have wanted to do something for the military,” Vargo said. “It’s our way of saying ‘thank you.'”

Several local veterans were on hand last week for the dedication, with many saying they appreciated the gesture.

“I think it’s a cool thing,” John Andrew Smith, who served with the 3rd Infantry in Schweinfurt, Germany from 1979 to 1982, said.

Rich Ross, who served in the Army from 1965 to 1969, and Bob Conn, who was in the 82nd Airborne Division from 1971 to 1977, worked to install the flag pole.

Ross explained they used three LED lights to make certain the flag could be displayed at any time of day.

Conn said the lights and the flag’s location make it visible to many as they pass Overbrook Towers, or even those driving on the nearby highway.

“They’ve been talking about it from 20 to 25 years,” Conn said. “It can easily be seen from U.S. 22.”

Others on hand included John Swiger, who was in the Army in 1964; Charles Travis, Army 1970-1976; Paul Tokash, Army 5th Special Forces at Fort Bragg 1966-1969; Phillip Gross, Army who served in South Korea; and Paul Altomeyer, Army in Vietnam 1968-1969.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)