Norfolk Naval Shipyard Veteran Employee Readiness Group founding member Jonathan Echols places flags on the graves of fallen service members during the annual flag placement ceremony at the Captain Ted Conaway Memorial Naval Cemetery in Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP), May 27.


The Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) Veteran Employee Readiness Group (VET-ERG) collaborated with Naval Support Activity (NSA) Hampton Roads, Portsmouth annex, in their annual flag placement ceremony May 27 in honor of Memorial Day.

Shipyard employees joined members of NSA Hampton Roads Portsmouth as well as members of the Portsmouth Chapter of the Navy Wives Club at the Captain Ted Conaway Memorial Naval Cemetery in Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP), placing more than 880 flags on the graves of fallen service members from eight countries. This marks the seventh year NNSY has collaborated with NSA Hampton Roads Portsmouth in this endeavor to honor the fallen.

“This is an important task to place the flags on the graves of our fallen service members and I’m thankful to each person who has stepped up to assist us,” said NSA Hampton Roads Portsmouth Site Director Kenneth Pugh. “It’s a tradition that we hold dear to our hearts.”

“It’s very rewarding seeing our group continue to help not only our shipyard brothers and sisters but also the community at large, providing service where needed,” said VET-ERG President Nicholas Boyle also participated with his son Connor Boyle during the event. “We’ve always happy to support this great cause in honor of our fallen and I look forward to our group’s efforts in the future as well.”

VET-ERG Founding Member Jonathan Echols has been a big part in helping to organize NNSY’s participation for this event, leading the charge for its duration in ensuring America’s Shipyard turned out to assist in placing flags. “It is a tremendous opportunity for all of us to ensure these brave men and women are remembered and honored for their sacrifices and it’s something I look forward to participating in every year,” said Echols. “As a Veteran, it’s very important to me to be able to show my respect to my fellow brothers and sisters in the armed forces, and honor the fallen on Memorial Day as well as every day I can. I hope our efforts continue to inspire others to also do their part in remembering our fallen as well. It’s up to us to continue their legacy.”

“I feel it’s important to place flags on these graves for the people who went before us to defend our freedom and democracy. Without their sacrifices and service, where would we be today?” said VET-ERG Member Ricky Burroughs. “We thank them so much for what they have done for us and this is just one of the ways we can honor the remembered.”

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