ROCK SPRINGS – One little office on Gateway Boulevard has been going unnoticed for a couple of years now. On Thursday, it received its colors.
Local veterans gathered at the VA Clinic, located at 1409 Gateway Boulevard, to raise the new flag. The clinic has not had one since moving to its current location several years ago. Veterans took notice.
Leonard Merrell was one who noticed. In an effort to change this, Merrell, along with a few other veterans began to raise money for the new flagpole two years ago. Several local groups pitched in, but the biggest donation came from the son of a local veteran.
Joseph “Bevo” Bertagnolli was a member of the Army and served in Korea. Joseph regularly used the clinic. His son, Victor, helped make the clinic a little more colorful in honor of his father.
Along with Victor’s donation, the group also secured donations from Archie Hay Post 24, Tom Whitmore Post 28, American Legion Post 36 in Fort Bridger, Jackson Hole American Legion Post 43, Veterans of Foreign Wars 2321 and the Marine Corp League No. 1406.
At the dedication, Merrell said it was a pleasure for them to finally put up a flag to show Sweetwater County Veterans and other area veterans who use the clinic the respect and appreciation they deserve.
As a member of Archie Hay Post 24, Merrell thanked everyone who made this possible and thanked all the veterans for their service.
While honored to have the flag dedicated in his father’s name, Bertagnolli viewed it a little differently.
“Its a VA clinic,” Victor said. “It needs a flag.”