Residents of The Hammocks at Geneseo celebrated its veterans and marked the conclusion of four years of construction at the housing development with the dedication of two flag poles on Aug. 18.
The brief ceremony concluded with the first raising of U.S. and New York State flags as bugler Tom Dunleavey played.
“Every time I look at the flag outside I get a little choked up thinking about our military – active, retired and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Chuck Gleba, an Army veteran who has lived at The Hammocks for the past four years. He and his wife Jean were the second residents.
“Being a veteran myself of the early-’70s, the flag is a means to honor freedom and our country,” said Gleba. “We may not agree on a lot of things in this country, but we should always honor the flag.”
The flags fly from a pair of flag poles erected behind The Hammocks’ sign at the complex’s entrance off Volunteer Road. The sign is adjacent to the complex’s community center.
Tony Gurak, an Air Force veteran and past commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5005, raised the American flag. Dennis Staley, who served in the U.S. Navy’s submarine service and is commander of American Legion Post 271, hoisted the state flag.
“It’s a way to show respect for the flag,” said Staley.
“It’s very nice on their part,” Gurak said. “There are so many veterans here.”
Among the residents of the complex’s 160 unites are 30 to 40 veterans, both retired and active military, said Angel Lynch, leasing consultant for The Hammocks.
Lynch organized the dedication ceremony, which was attended by about 40 residents and guests. The ceremony ended with cake that featured an American flag and a “Thank You.”
Capt. Joe Breunig, who has served more than 24 years, has lived in the Hammocks for more than three years. He attended the ceremony in his combat fatigue uniform.
“As a member of the military, seeing the flags go up in a community like this shows a sense of unit,” said Breunig, a current member of the New York Air National Guard’s Eastern Air Defense Section, which keeps watch on the skies east of the Mississippi. “We’re all patriotic Americans. The flag, for this community, is a way to identify that.”
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