Flags Make Way From Iraq to America's Front Yards
March 19, 2007
NORTHERN IRAQ (Army News Service, March 19, 2007) - Since paratroopers of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment's 1st Squadron set foot in Iraq, they've raised and lowered a new flag every hour on the hour. Each flag has then become available for purchase through the unit's Family Readiness Group.
"(The) flags are flying with pride in many homes," said Christopher S. Italiano from Columbus, Ohio, friend and brother-in-law to Lt. Col. Ross Davidson, commander, 1st Sqdn., 73rd Cav. Regmt. "The 1-73 Cav will forever be honored as symbols of the country's strength and belief in democracy."
Soldiers, family members and friends have purchased the flags as gifts or to show off their patriotism.
Troop A First Sgt. Robert Ochsner bought one for a friend whose son is in special forces, and another for his father, who is in the Patriot Guard - a group of motorcyclists that provides security at fallen Soldiers' memorials - and flies his flag whenever they ride, said Ochsner.
"I was stunned by the total reverence I felt when I received the flag, the certificate and the thank you note," said Jayme Parker, a resident of Cypress, Calif., who is Davidson's cousin. "I cannot describe the feeling I had when I touched the flag. I gave a moment of silence and said a prayer for those who proudly serve, and for those who have given their lives for the freedoms I enjoy."
Danny and Debbie Williams from Augusta, Ga., gave away several of the flags at Christmas and soon received an outpouring of thank you's.
"Just holding this flag and knowing where it has traveled just fills your heart with love for our country and her defenders," said Debbie.
The flags sell for $25 and each comes with a certificate of authentication signed by Davidson and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Krabbe, the command sergeant major of 1st Sqdn., 73rd Cav. Regt. For information on purchasing a flag send e-mails to Taskforcebluefalcon@yahoo.com.
(Spc. Susan Blair writes for the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, Public Affairs.)