U.S. flag reminds veteran of those who didn’t come home

Since Memorial Day of 2008, a small American flag had been attached to a forklift that Robert First, a veteran, drove for his job. He handed the torn and tattered flag to American Legion Ryan Winslow Post 911 Commander Ginger Branson during a recent flag retirement ceremony hosted by the post in Hoover, Ala.

“(Robert) told me he has it to remind him of his brothers and sisters who didn’t come home. It brought tears to my eyes when he told me the story of this flag,” Branson said.

That flag joined the other nearly 200 unserviceable flags for Post 911’s flag disposal ceremony held at the post home with about 60 people in attendance. A new mission of Post 911 is to collect and properly dispose of unserviceable flags.

One of the flags belonged to the father of Post 911 member Scott Landreth. “The flag had been on his property in LaGrange, Ga. When he got a new one, I told him that we would be properly disposing of it,” Landreth said.

American Legion D.W. Segars Post 1228 from Hueytown, Ala., is creating flag collection boxes from old newspaper kiosks and will provide Post 911 a receptacle that will be secured outside the post home so unserviceable flags can be collected.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the response of the community. People really respect the flag as much as us veterans,” Branson said.

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