Honoring veterans past and present

By Nathan Stone and Kathy Hill

From left, Dan Merrill, Melody Burns of the Veterans Miracle Center, Keith McAfee, Lisa Wemple and Peter Allen

If you’re among the employees who bought one of 800 specially designed camouflage hardhats during National Grid’s Veterans Employee Resource Group recent fundraising campaign, you should know that you helped raised $16,000. You should also know that your purchase – matched by National Grid – is already working to help military veterans and families.

VERG members selected the Veterans Miracle Center in Albany to receive a $4600 donation from the proceeds, which are being split among the company’s seven US service areas. The VMC provides veterans, active-duty personnel and their immediate households with clothing, personal care products, housewares and various forms of specialized assistance, at no cost to recipients.  National Grid’s Dan Merrill, Strategic Sales and VERG co-chair, Keith McAfee, New York vice president, Electric Operations, VERG co-chair Lisa Wemple, Customer & Community, and VERG chair Peter Allen, Gas Maintenance and Delivery, presenting the VMC’s donation April 17.

“National Grid employees have a long record of giving back to their community,” said Keith. “We appreciate the opportunity to help the Veterans Miracle Center keep making a difference for eastern New York veterans and families.”

“Our employees were glad to support this campaign,” said Lisa. “They wear their hardhats with pride.”

125 Commemorative Flags

Just a week earlier, organizers of Operation: Please Remember Me  wrote to thank National Grid and the IBEW Local Union 97 for their help in honoring Capital Region veterans. Through the group effort each year, travelers along Route 9 in Latham and Loudonville can look up at 125 flags displayed along the highway from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July. Attached to utility poles by volunteering members of the Local 97, the flags honor Capital Region service men and women – more than 1230 in all – who lost their lives in military service, from World War II to the present day. Organizers chose Route 9 for its place in history, going back to 1757 as a military road.

Appreciation letter from Operation: Please Remember Me (click to read)

“This event is a powerful way to show gratitude for the men and women who sacrificed for our country,” said Peter, who cofounded VERG in 2009. “It’s our privilege to help support Operation: Please Remember Me.”

Operation: Please Remember Me is sponsored by the Tri-County Council Vietnam Era Veterans.

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