Last Wednesday, Harbor’s Edge welcomed a visit from the Army Corps of Engineers Chief of Staff, Colonel Dionysios Anninos. Although Colonel Anninos is a native to the area, and at one time a neighbor to Harbor’s Edge as the District Commander of the Norfolk USACE, this was no routine visit. Colonel Anninos came to deliver a very special gift to the residents of Harbor’s Edge.
Prior to his present position, Colonel Anninos was Commander of USACE Gulf Region District, located in Baghdad, Iraq where he led 1,200 personnel in the delivery of a $5.1 Billion portfolio conisisting of over 400 construction projects. At this time Colonel Anninos was responsible for helping consolidate the troops in preparation of the United States’ final retreat from Iraq. His headquarters was located at Camp Victory, which was designated as Camp Wolfe in 2009 in honor of Navy Cmdr. Duane Wolfe, who was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck the vehicle he was riding in on May 25, 2009 outside of Fallujah, Iraq. Commander Wolfe and Colonel Anninos were good friends.
Colonel Anninos told the story of Wolfe, and of the flag flown in honor of his sacrifice to a group of retired military residents at a ceremony last Wednesday at Harbor’s Edge. In addition to honoring his friend, Colonel Anninos wanted to do something nice for our community as a thank you for the support our residents maintain for the Military. He decided to fly an American Flag over headquarters to honor Commander Wolfe, and after retiring the flag present it to the residents of Harbor’s Edge.
Harbor’s Edge resident Captain (RET) Russell Sawyer happily accepted the flag with a certificate signed by Colonel Anninos. With a salute, and a handshake the flag was passed and the ceremony drew to an end. The flag, which has so much meaning, and has seen so many lives lost and affected by war is now a respected posession at Harbor’s Edge. It is displayed in the Community’s lobby behind glass with a plaque that reads “U.S. Flag Flown Over Headqaurters, Gulf Region District, Camp Wolfe, Baghdad, Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, March 2010, Presented by: Colonel Dionysios Anninos.”