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Hall-Donated Flagpole Placed Outside New Honor Home

Hall-Donated Flagpole Placed Outside New Honor Home

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Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, military veterans and representatives of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and several of its partners came together Wednesday morning to mark Veterans Day with a special flag-raising ceremony.

The event was held outside Stark County’s newest Honor Home, an eight-bed transitional housing unit to help homeless men who are veterans secure safe shelter. A similar home for women and children is expected to open across a shared driveway in a few weeks.

“This is work worth doing,” LaRose said, referring to both the opening of Honor Home and U.S. military service. “Too many people wonder, ‘Have I done something with my life that was worthwhile?’ Those who serve never have to ask that question.”

LaRose was a U.S. Army Special Forces member.

Matt Slater, the Director of Veterans Services for Family & Community Services, Inc., the organization that oversees 130 Honor Homes in six counties across Northeast Ohio, said the collaboration that led to the installation of the flagpole demonstrates people “fulfilling our part of the contract” with those who “fulfilled their contract with the United States” by serving their country.

He invoked the words of former President John F. Kennedy, who called on all Americans to act on behalf of veterans in recognition of their service. Slater commended the local vendors who made possible the installation of the flagpole as a demonstration of such action.

The flagpole outside the Honor Home, which is located only a few miles east of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, formerly stood at the Fulton Road entrance of the Hall but needed to be removed for road work.

Nick Stilianos, the Director of Facilities & Event Operations at the Hall and a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, initiated the plan to donate the flagpole and a new U.S. flag to the Honor Home. Various business partners of the Hall also offered needed services, at no cost: Abbott Electric, installed wiring and flag lights; Fred Olivieri Construction, transported the flagpole; Midwest Sign Center, donated and installed the pole base, rebuilt internal mechanisms of the flagpole and installed flagpole; Rice’s Nursery, installed pavers, shrubs and tidied landscaping around the pole and elsewhere at Honor Home; and Thomarios sandblasted and powder-coated the flagpole.

Canton Chair Rental also provided a canopy at the site Wednesday to protect spectators from inclement weather, which cleared shortly before the ceremony.

Honor Home is open to veterans who are eligible for medical services through the Veterans Health Administration. The goal of the program is to assist the veteran to obtain permanent housing within 90 days of entering the program. The building has a community kitchen, living room and dining room, and each veteran has a bedroom that he will share with one other veteran. The building is staffed around the clock.

The philosophy of Honor Home is to assist each veteran to obtain permanent housing and to develop the skills and confidence necessary to play an active role within the community. More information is available by calling 1-855-234-7310.

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