Present Flags to Veterans Before They Die
(Whittier, Calif. U S A)
"On behalf of a grateful nation . . . "
Veterans are entitled to a United States flag to drape their coffin, and the flag is presented to survivors "on behalf of a grateful nation."
I believe a combat veteran should receive his or her flag upon returning home from a combat zone. The flag should be presented formally, and the veteran thanked for his/her service.
Then s/he can proudly display it or keep it and look at it from time to time, and remember the proud feeling s/he had so far away from home in the jungles or deserts of another land.
Coming home was the proudest day of my life - a day I'll never forget. Looking up to the red white and blue made me cry, grateful to be home.
So I say, "Give me the flag before I die, and make me cry once again."
A VIET NAM VETERAN
Chris, I think that's an excellent idea, and one that deserves some attention.
It seems the "grateful nation" should do something to formally thank returning combat veterans, and I believe your suggestion of the formal presentation of the flag to each of them to mark their service, and to express the gratitude not only of the people, but also the government, is a great idea.
As a practical matter, this would need to be done on a local level, as the troops return home from combat. There's usually some sort of welcome home event when a group comes back together, and this would be a logical place and time for such a presentation. Not sure how we would handle individual returnees, though.
Anyone have any ideas on how we could implement Chris' suggestion?
Should it be the responsibility of the local command? Perhaps a local veterans support group, such as VFW?
Should the flags be furnished by the government, or donated by veterans groups?
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