By Terri Hofstetter, USAG Bamberg MWRJune 11, 2008
BAMBERG, Germany - The Bamberg Community Library and the high school's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps pulled together to help create a flag dedicated to deployed Soldiers of the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion.
As part of their volunteer program, Bamberg High School JROTC cadets led a library story time for 30 community children - some as young as three years old - and created the banner afterwards. The cadets read a Charlie Brown story, "What Have We Learned'" and "The White Table," a children's book about Soldiers who are missing in action.
"These books ... present military history in a way children can understand," said Maj. Madonna Roberts, JROTC instructor.
As for the flag, it is being sent to Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan, "where the Brigade Support Battalion will fly it as a (symbol) of our defense of freedom," said Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Weatherspoon of the 173rd BSB, who received the flag during a special presentation at the library.
"With the BSB being vital to the logistical support of 173rd Sky Soldiers," Weatherspoon added "and timely logistics being critical to the success of our mission, it is fitting that (the unit) keep guard of this flag ... which represents the charge of our nation to defend freedom at home and abroad."
When the 173rd unit redeploys from participating in Operation Enduring Freedom, the flag will return along with it and then be returned to some of the community's youngest members, who personalized the project by putting their handprints on the banner.
Karen Lazzeri, Bamberg Library director, said the cadets explained the process well, as the children were very excited about a project that connected them with deployed Soldiers from their community. "They only wished they had more flags to paint."