417-337-8387

 

Avenue of Freedom

Old Glory Get steel support on Avenue of Freedom

Branson Steel employee Jesse McKnight and BVTF board member Steve Weyher prepare steel rods to insert in poles that hold Flags along the Avenue of Freedom.

The Branson Veterans Task Force had been receiving phone calls and emails from concerned residents, visitors and city employees that were finding dislocated flags in ditches, on the road and stuck in bushes because heavy rains and winds bent and broke the supporting poles. The solution to keeping Old Glory flying on the Avenue of Freedom, along Gretna Road turned out to be reinforcing the poles that hold the flags with steel.

Vietnam veteran Steve Weyher, chairman of the Avenue of Freedom Committee, knew there had to be a solution.
“So, after years of replacing poles due to the storms I knew I needed to strengthen the poles somehow,” he said. “The cost of replacing flags and poles was getting out of hand. I decided to go to Branson Steel with the idea of putting a steel rod into the shaft of the existing pole.”
Weyher said Jessie McKnight of Branson Steel took the existing poles apart to see what could be done. He found the supporting poles had a hollow insert that could be taken out and a half inch thick steel rod could be inserted.

“He tried one and it worked,” Weyher said. “We had one hundred, 6 foot steel rods made to insert in the existing poles. It is going to save us a lot of money. I sure want to thank the Branson Steel staff for their help and support on this project and other projects they have helped us with in the past.”

Nearly 100 American flags are displayed along the Avenue of Freedom. Each has a placard bearing the name of a veteran, first responder or present day warrior. The Branson Veterans Task Force (BVTF) has dedicated the past 15 years to placing the flags on the poles along the 1.5 mile of personalized memorials, supported by donations. When donations from individuals, organizations and businesses are received, the flags are flown from the week before Memorial Day until the week after Veterans Day. The BVTF and many volunteers have been making sure they fly without incident and all placards remain in place, as well as two weather-resistant flags flying from each light pole in the center of Gretna. When each flag is “retired”it is shipped to a designated recipient complete with a personalized certificate.

“People that make a donation to have the flags flown actually come (to Branson) and look for those flags,” said Tom Goldsworthy, who was the first chairperson of the project and retired recently. “The person who orders the flag is not always the person that gets the flag. Some buy them for relatives that served and some buy them in honor of friends that served.”

Among those committed to keeping the Avenue maintained is Sudden Link and their employee Randy Brott, who supplies the lift truck needed to place the flags on the poles that are the property of Empire Electric, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 913 and the City of Branson.
To sponsor a flag, call 417-337-8387 or email bvtf-mo@hotmail.com.

If you would like to have an Honor Flag flown, become a corporate sponsor or mail a donation
contact BVTF 417-337-8387 or Vietnam Veteran Steve Weyher, 417-894-7227.

Click on each of the links below to instantly download the forms:

Please fill them out, and mail them to address provided on each item.

 SPONSORS and SUPPORTERS 

 The Tobacco Pouch, Branson / Pole 28 & Pole 34

 Alan and Joanne Smith, Branson

 The SIX Show, Branson / Pole 4

Mr and Mrs Robert Roberson
Marble Falls, AR 

 Summerwinds Resorts, Branson / Pole 20 & 21

 USS Grand Canyon Sailors Org

 Ben Eddings Auto Group, Harrison AR / Pole 19

 Dale Kimball
Brookeville, FL

  Tri-Lakes Motors, Branson / Pole 2

 Mr and Mrs James Stetson 
Lampe, MO / Pole 4 & Pole 16

The Flag Store, Branson / Pole 28

 Branson Veterans History Project / Pole 16 & Pole 17

Shepherd of the Hills Garden Club, Branson / Pole 29 & Pole 30

Tom and Cathy Campbell, Pole 25 & Pole 34

List of Those Who’s Names Were Flown on the Avenue of Freedom, October-December

Loran Haney M/SGT, USAF Veteran, Korea/Vietnam
Jim Hayes CPL, MARINES

Veteran, Korea/Vietnam

Jacob W. Kingsbury SSGT, US ARMY WWII
Richard K. Everette CPL, US ARMY Korea
Kenneth Horn US NAVY WWII

Robert N. Finken

CPL, US ARMY Korea
 

The Branson Veterans Task Force is a 501 (c)(3) organization with a mission of recognizing veterans, fostering
patriotism and educating the community on the accomplishments and the history of our veterans.
Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the IRS rules and regulations.
 

 

MAILING ADDRESS:
Branson Veterans Task Force
P.O. Box 128
Branson, Mo 65616
Phone: 417-337-8387

 
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