FAIRFIELD — Misson Solano’s Bridge to Life center has its own flag.
About 75 people watched as the American flag was raised atop a 40-foot flagpole Monday under crisp, blue skies. The event included a dedication ceremony featuring servicemen and servicewomen from Travis Air Force Base.
John Cassidy, a 20-year Army veteran, lives in the Bridge to Life building that houses homeless veterans. Having the flag to view means a lot to him.
“It makes the place look more official,” said Cassidy, who said he served three tours of duty overseas. It will serve as a daily reminder of the freedom for which he fought.
About 40 veterans call the Bridge to Life center home.
The Veterans Hall is undergoing a renovation. The new look will include two flagpoles – one that will fly the American flag, the other a POW/MIA flag.
“I knew from the beginning the centerpiece (here) would be a flagpole,” said Ron Marlette, executive director of Mission Solano. “We had to make this happen. I wanted the biggest flagpole.”
Marlette said that he grew up in a time when America was not involved in war. “Many of my generation thank those who served before us,” he said.
Col. (Dr.) Kevin Connolly, 60th Medical Group commander at Travis Air Force Base, echoed those sentiments.
“Your service has paved the way for us still on active duty, so we can live free,” he said.
Fairfield Mayor Harry Price lauded Mission Solano for its work on behalf of homeless veterans. “We are our brother’s keepers,” Price said.
Temperatures were in the 40s for the morning ceremony.
“It’s appropriate it’s a bit uncomfortable,” said Tim LeFever, president of Mission Solano’s board of directors. “This is a place for people who have felt uncomfortable in the cold. The community here takes a sense of pride in giving someone a place to sleep or to feed them a meal. Veterans know discomfort greater than not having a place to sleep.”
About one-fifth of homeless men are veterans, Marlette said.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.