BURRILLVILLE – Raymond Trinque has worn many hats, but the one he dons most proudly these days is his uniform cap as commander of the Berard-Desjarlais American Legion Post 88.
Trinque spoke this week at a meeting of the Burrillville Lions Club outlining his work as head of the Burrillville-based veterans group.
“He’s been a member of every organization that’s existed in town except the Girl Scouts,” joked Lion Tom Tatro introducing Trinque, who appeared before the group as part their guest speaker series.
Trinque, who is currently serving his second term as a member of the Burrillville Town Council, also serves as moderator for the Pascoag Fire District.
He noted that he also used to be a member of the Burrillville Lions.
“There came a time when I had to make a decision,” Trinque said of move to dedicate more time to the post, and leave the Lions.
Among the programs Trinque highlighted as a member of Post 88 was their well-known flag fundraiser, through which the group sells both large and small American flags, as well as other flags, at locations including Lawrence Bros. Hardware in Harrisville.
The post also accepts old flags for disposal in a box in front of the former Burrillville Ambulance building, which they currently call home.
Residents can also drop off old clothing and linens in a shed by the Chapel Street building, including well-used items, and even unmatched shoes. The organization passes the items on to national and international groups that pay by the pound. Nicer items are donated to veterans homes and hospitals, or to Operation Stand Down.
At Christmas time, Post 88 collects Toys for Tots.
But the Legion’s greatest focus is helping underserved veterans, with everything from securing benefits with the VA, to lending out a handicap ramp and medical equipment to those in need. Trinque noted that the post recently helped to acquire six sets of hearing aids for local veterans.
They also make sure the town’s veterans get the honors they work for, including a recent effort to get Korean War veteran George Ducharme on a Rhode Island Fire Chiefs Honor Flight.
“We try to give inside the town,” said Trinque.
The organization is chartered by the US government, and Trinque also serves as first county commander.
“Last year we were #11 in the nation in selling flags,” he noted.
Visit NRI NOW in upcoming weeks to hear about their progress on a number of other recent projects, including an effort to have banners erected in honor of veterans from each of the town’s villages.
Trinque noted that residents should contact the Legion if they know of any local veterans in need of help.
The Burrillville Lions Club guest speaker series takes place on the third Wednesday of every month. The events take place on the bottom floor of Uncle Ronnies Red Tavern and the public is invited to attend.
To learn more about the Lions, or if you’re interested in joining the organization, contact Tom Tatro at email@example.com.