‘Old Glory’ raised in brother’s memory

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In memory of the late military veteran Wayne Allison Grubbs, a ceremony was held at the Hide-Way-Lake (HAWL) lodge, while his flag, donated by his sister, Doris Dickens of Carriere, was raised.

In a short but poignant ceremony on Saturday, the donated flag was raised by several military veterans who also live in the community: Bob Gieger, Jim Livaudais, Bill Wilson, Al Chrisman and Ted Finch. Chrisman served as master of ceremonies.

Before the official ceremony got underway, Dickens, her family and guests, enjoyed breakfast in the Hide-A-Way Lake Lodge. When she emerged from the restaurant and saw the small crowd gathered to celebrate her and her family, she was moved to tears.

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“Thanks everybody for coming, this is a special day. It means a lot to me and I appreciate everybody coming,” she said. “I know it would mean a lot to my brother.”

Dickens, the last of six siblings, said she was unsure of what she would do with Grubbs’ flag. A sister, 10 years Dickens’ senior, passed the flag on to her when she died in Jackson several years ago. “There’s no one else to give it to and I love living here in Hide-A-Way Lake,” she said.

Dickens lives in the home her husband, the late Ray Dickens, had built for her. Unfortunately he died before the home was completed, but she knows this is where he wanted her to be – HAWL. He felt she would be taken care of and safe.

“I’ve lived here for 15 years and I’ve loved it,” she said. With her three daughters standing by her and supporting her decision, Dickens knew that donating the flag to the place she loves, HAWL, was the perfect solution.

When she called Bruce Devillier, General Manager of HAWL, she said he was elated and suggested a big ceremony about the flag. It was also agreed that the flag would be be flown on special military occasions and holidays only.

During the ceremony on Saturday morning, the gathered crowd saluted while the “Star Spangled Banner” accompanied the flag on its journey to its new home atop the HAWL flag pole. Dickens immediately expressed her joy as a breeze gently raised the flag.

“I want see it fly,” she said proudly.