Andrews shows respect to veterans

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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VALLEY — While speaking at Monday’s annual Memorial Day program at Veterans Park, Post Commander Lanny Bledsoe remarked that Fairview Cemetery looked really nice with lots of U.S. flags marking the final resting places of many local veterans. He thanked River View resident Jerry Andrews in having done great work in placing all of the flags.

The Valley Times-News reached out to Andrews Tuesday to see what motivates him to do this as a continuing project.

“It’s the least I can do to show some respect to a lot of good men who faithfully served our country,” he said. “I’ve been slowed down some this year by this virus and everybody having to stay at home. but I want to have a flag for every veteran in the cemetery.”

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He started placing the flags several years ago to mark the graves of his dad, J.C. Andrews, a World War I veteran who died in 1949, and son, Ricky Warren Andrews, a Marine who died in 2010.

“I also put flags on the graves of two of my uncles, Jim Wooley and Ben Smith, both of whom had served in the U.S. Navy. I put flags over the graves of my cousin, L.C. Humphrey, who had served in the Army and a good friend of mine, Mickey Anthony, who had also served in the military. All of them deserve this kind of honor. I want to keep doing this until there’s a flag over the grave of everyone out there who was a veteran.”

Andrews said that family members like daughter and son-in-law Gerald and Lynn Clark, son Jim Andrews and grandson Hunter Andrews had been very helpful. Hunter was a member of Valley’s Dixie League All-Star team that won a World Series title in North Carolina last year.

Jerry Andrews did his part to keep a family tradition going when he served in the U.S. Air Force in 1951-54.

“I was stationed in Japan during the Korean War,” he said.

Andrews said he likes it when people tell him Fairview Cemetery is impressive with all the American flags marking the graves of veterans.

“I’m going to keep doing this until every veteran’s grave in the cemetery has an American flag over it,” he said. “Those men earned this recognition.”