BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Wednesday was Veterans Day and few in-person celebrations took place locally because of COVID-19, but one was quite special.
A flag dedication ceremony took place at Halifax Urban Ministries’ Barracks of Hope at 605 Seagrave St., Daytona Beach.
The ceremony was followed by a pizza party for veterans and those at the facility.
The event was put on by Ormond Strong, a veterans and first responders support organization.
“We are with you, veterans. We have your back. We support you,” said Debbie Kruck Forrester, commander of Ormond Strong.
Helping homeless vets
Halifax Urban Ministries Executive Director Buck James stated, “We are all thankful that you are here with us today as we honor our veterans.”
The Barracks of Hope is a transitional home for homeless veterans.
Florida State Senator District 14 Tom Wright also stopped by. Wright is the Military, Veterans and Space Committee chairman in the Florida Senate. He is also a member of the Florida Defense Support Task Force.
“I am proud to be here today. So many great men and women have given so much to this country by volunteering for our services. We honor them. We thank them. We thank you. We honor you,’’ he said.
A flagpole and an American flag were donated for outside of the building. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines flags also were donated and hang over the walkway entrance of the building. A Prisoner of War (POW)/Missing in Action (MIA) flag was also donated.
Day of reflection
James R. Wilson is a resident at the Barracks of Hope. He has resided there for about three months now. Wilson served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and later in the Army during peacetime.
“I think the ceremonies and what they’re doing for us is very nice. On Veterans Day, I just wear my gear and sit up under the tree. I reflect upon my days of service and life sometimes. I am also glad they have programs like this to help us vets get back on our feet,” he told the Daytona Times.
Since its inception in 2018, Barracks of Hope has assisted over 100 veterans with 70 percent of them finding permanent housing.