Gerald Bonestroo got an early birthday present this year.
On May 18, the Hull resident will turn 90. But a few weeks ago, he received a gift he’s wanted for a long time — a flagpole for Aspen Heights Assisted Living.
To say that Bonestroo is a patriot would be an understatement.
He is a World War II veteran who served in the Army from 1945-47; and he’s a 71-year member of Wegman-Koele American Legion Post.
So when he moved to Aspen Heights nearly two years ago, he noticed that something was missing at his new home. The facility did not have a flagpole.
“I thought it would be proper to have a flag here,” he said. “My dad, my five brothers and I all served in the military. I enjoy seeing my country’s flag flying. This year I asked if we could put up a flagpole, and it happened.”
Bonestroo was able to take the flagpole from his previous home with help from Ken DeWit, another Hull veteran.
“My old flagpole had to be sanded and repainted and I asked Ken for help because I knew he would do a good job,” explained Bonestroo.
At the end of April, DeWit, along with Bonestroo’s son, Doug, installed the flagpole outside Aspen Heights.
“The flagpole went up where I wanted it. I pretty much told those younger guys what to do,” stated Bonestroo with a smile.
The light for the flagpole wasn’t put in until nine days later, so Bonestroo raised the flag every morning and took it down at night. It was a small price to pay for the pleasure of seeing the flag fly over Aspen Heights.
Bonestroo also agreed to purchase and maintain a flag for Aspen Heights.
“That worked out well because I sell flags for the Legion,” he explained. “I’ve done that for 25 years so I always have a few flags on hand. I’ll make sure the flag stays in good shape. That’s important to me.”