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Fort Drum soldiers help Lowville honor those who’ve served

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 5:39 PM EDT
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LOWVILLE, New York (WWNY) - In Lowville, Fort Drum soldiers were out Friday connecting with the community. It’s all thanks to a long-standing partnership with the military that allows the village to honor those who have served.

“I just try to do what I can. It’s a good opportunity to get us out here, out of the barracks, out in the community,” said Specialist Andrew Padilla, 10th Aviation Brigade.

The soldiers hung seven banners on North State Street. All honoring soldiers who attended Lowville Academy & Central School. Soldiers who were killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“As a community member, I grew up here. As these banners are up and you’re out walking the streets, you stop and reflect on who they were and what they meant,” said Brian Finn, principal, Lowville Academy & Central School.

The banners were one part of a larger project to spruce up the village as spring sets in. The soldiers partnered with the Lowville American Legion and Lowville Academy to get it done.

“Today they’re working at the food pantry putting up an American Flag. Cleaning the grounds, getting ready for spring here. They go to various gravesites to help out,” said Lee Hinkleman, American Legion commander.

The partnership helps bridge the gap between the local community and the military community.

“They’re just tremendous supporters of anything in the community, not just the legion, but anything else that goes on in this community, they’re an intricate part of it,” said Hinkleman.

Alongside the seven banners raised on State Street, the soldiers hung 82 flags around the village. They also installed a brand-new flagpole at the Lowville Food Pantry.

“I’m out here supporting our veterans, our fallen soldiers. Respect to them,” said Specialist Isai Garcia, 10th Aviation Brigade.

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