Thomas F. Cooley and Jean M. Martin were honored by the Narrow Passage Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution with awards given at the chapter's Community Service Awards Luncheon on Saturday. Cooley received the Patriot Award, established to honor those who have provided extraordinary service to protect America's freedom. Martin received the Heritage Award that recognizes significant accomplishments in areas that help preserve our rich local heritage.
Cooley is a Korean War veteran. He serves as chaplain for the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and attends the funerals of veterans. In his remarks, Cooley said it is his honor to help fold the American flag and present it to the families of these veterans. He values all the American flag stands for and helps ensure young people learn flag etiquette by teaching classes at schools and scout troop meetings. He is a true patriot with a long history of service to his country and community.
Martin personifies the DAR's tenet to promote historic preservation and education so that our American heritage is not lost. Before coming to Shenandoah County, she served as the Director of several museums and historic sites in three states, consulted at the National Navy Museum and was the registrar at the DAR Museum. Locally, Martin held the position of the Shenandoah County archivist/genealogist, President of the Board of Trustees for the Woodstock Museum, and was instrumental in developing, and is still active in, Shenandoah County Heritage Days. She has published several books including, "Shenandoah County," part of the Images of America series, and researched a new book on frakturs. Martin is a dedicated preservationist and the county has long been the beneficiary of her exemplary work.
At the event, Narrow Passage Chapter also donated a set of Braille flags to local resident Gayle Shaffer, a teacher of visually impaired students in Leesburg, as part of the DAR's ongoing education efforts regarding the American flag. These flags offer the unique opportunity for a visually impaired person to fully see (via touch) the raised stars and stripes, the colors of the flag, and the Pledge of Allegiance which is printed in Braille on the flag.
The citizens honored at this event deserve our thanks for all they have done and continue to do.