Flag Flies for Roy Bell

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In continuing its mission to take history out of the textbooks by honoring a local veteran each month of the school year, the Hampton Bays School District is paying tribute to Roy Bell by flying an American flag in his honor throughout the month of June.

“The Hampton Bays School District is proud to honor Mr. Bell for his service to the United States,” said Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen.

The American flag was raised during a ceremony at Hampton Bays Elementary School on June 12. During the event, students sang and read Mr. Bell’s biography and celebrated with a luncheon for area veterans.

Born in 1936, Mr. Bell grew up in Chappaqua, New York, graduating from Horace Greeley High School in 1954. After graduation, Mr. Bell worked in a family-owned furniture store before being hired by the New York Telephone Company. One day, he received a draft letter in the mail that stated, “Your friends and neighbors selected you…”

Mr. Bell was sent to basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia, and with his background at the telephone company, the Army assigned him to Camp Gordon in Georgia, where he received advanced signal training. He was then reassigned to the 268th Signal Construction Company at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, where he was stationed for the rest of his military career. His duties included all types of telephone and signal repair and construction.

In February 1962, Mr. Bell was honorably discharged, and he moved back to New York to resume working for New York Telephone for the next 38 years, retiring in 1994.

Shortly after his retirement, Mr. Bell moved to Hampton Bays to a home that once belonged to his parents. He still resides in this home with his wife, Mickey, who he met while attending church at St. Rosalie’s. Mr. Bell is also the proud father of three children, John, Tom and Heather, from a previous marriage.

Mr. Bell spends most of his time serving the community. He is the head usher at St. Rosalie’s Church and an executive board member of the Hand-Aldrich Post of the American Legion. For the American Legion, he also oversees a fleet of vehicles, including a large army truck called “the deuce-and-a-half.” Mr. Bell also ensures that American flags are placed throughout the hamlet before Memorial Day.