Bus/Ops, Arlington Service Project, and Tom

By Clint Iams, NAFCA Executive Director, Amity, PA


As I am sure many of you are aware, last Friday we completed another Arlington National Cemetery Service Project. This was the eleventh service project NAFCA has completed at Arlington since our inception. I have personally had the privilege of being at eight of these volunteer projects.

For this year‘s project, we added a Business/Ops Training the day before (be sure to take a moment to watch the brief video recap from the training on our site!). That evening after training–and a really good dinner–a number of us were discussing the service project. I mentioned that it almost feels inappropriate to have a “good time“ volunteering at such a reverent place.
The 2023 project was no exception. This year‘s project was a touch more daunting than in past years. Unfortunately, Arlington National Cemetery has faced an increase in recent attempts at vandalism and nefarious actions. As such, all new fences surrounding the Cemetery need to be eight foot tall. As we all know, installing an eight foot tall fence is a touch more difficult than a four or six foot project.
We had twenty-three volunteers for this year’s project from fourteen different companies around the United States and Canada.  While there was an abundance of great volunteers at this year‘s project, I want to call out one individual in particular. Now, please note, this is not a slight to the twenty-some other odd volunteers who were at Arlington giving of their time and themselves. However, one individual stood out.
Tom Prosalik of AFSCO Fence, Inc in Langtham, NY.
Pictured above is Tom helping with the removal of the existing fence
Tom has been in the fence industry since 1975. That was five years before I was born.
Throughout the eleven hour day, Tom never wavered, became irritable, complained, or was difficult to work alongside.  The 2023 project was difficult as we all know fence building can be; yet Tom kept the atmosphere jovial and light, sharing his skill set while being appreciative of the task at hand: to protect one of our nation’s most cherished and reverent places.
Tom’s example is one we can all aspire to emulate. In short, I strive to be like Tom, and you should too.  The fence industry is a better place because of people like Tom.
Do you want to know people like Tom? Come to Fence Training School. We have eight or nine “Toms” that teach each of the various disciplines. Make it a point to come to next year‘s Business/Ops Training or Arlington Service Project. Tom already said he’s going to be there.
As always, Arlington 2023 was a good time spent working very hard with some of the best people this industry has to offer.  In closing, and on behalf of the NAFCA Board, I would like to thank the following companies and supporters of this year’s events:
  • Hearth: Sponsor of the Wednesday evening Welcome Social
  • Titan Post Drivers: Sponsor of the lunch and refreshments during Bus/Ops Training
  • Business/Ops Training Speakers:

Justin Judy of ArcSite

Benji McKinney of Cleverfox.Online

Joe Everest, The Fence Expert / Ozark Fence / Ozark Wire Works

  • Barrette Outdoor Living: Sponsor of the Arlington National Cemetery Service Project via donating all of the 8′ aluminum.
  • Builders Fence: Sponsor of the Arlington National Cemetery Service Project via donating the concrete.
  • Fence Armor: Sponsor of the lunch at Arlington for all of the volunteers
Additionally, we would to thank the following volunteers for being part of the service project on Friday:
Finally, we would like to thank the Fence Workers Association‘s Executive Director, Susan Worley, and Michael Brooks, Gate Expert, for being part of the 2023 Arlington Service Project.  We appreciate the support and camaraderie.  As we all know, a rising tide raises all ships.
Be sure to follow us on the socials and our newsletter to stay in the loop; we are already making plans for Bus/Ops and Arlington 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.