WWII Vet­er­ans gifted flags

Serve Daily - - INSIDE - By Ed Helmick for Serve Daily

There are only 26 vet­er­ans from the bat­tles of World War II in res­i­dence at the Ben­nion Cen­tral Utah Vet­er­ans Home. These are folks who were in their late teens and early 20’s in 1941 and the fol­low­ing 4 years. They are the sur­vivors of a world at war 73 years ago. They served in the US Army, in­clud­ing the Army Air Corps, the US Navy and the US Marines. Each is an in­cred­i­ble per­son with a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory to tell.

On the Sat­ur­day be­fore Christ­mas, each of the 26 vet­er­ans were hon­ored with a spe­cial hand­crafted Amer­i­can Flag and a let­ter from a lo­cal stu­dent.

The flags, which were as­sem­bled from stained wood and in­clude the Pledge of Al­le­giance on the stripes of the flag, were cre­ated by a more re­cent vet­eran, Willy Rivera. The cost of mak­ing these 26 beau­ti­ful flags was about $50 each or $1,300 for all the flags. The money for this project was raised through ef­forts of the Utah Elks Vet­er­ans Com­mit­tee who are thank­ful to the many won­der­ful peo­ple who made do­na­tions.

The flags ar­rived at the Payson Vet­er­ans Home at 11 a.m. es­corted by the Pa­triot Guard Riders of Utah. It was de­cided that each flag and stu­dent note would be pre­sented in­di­vid­u­ally to each of the 24 men and two women vet­er­ans of WWII. What a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence to wit­ness the pre­sen­ta­tion of these spe­cial Amer­i­can Flags along with the read­ing of the stu­dent let­ter. It took four hours to present the flag to the each of the se­nior vet­er­ans at the Payson Vet­er­ans Home. The ded­i­cated vol­un­teers and all those that do­nated money did a good deed and were ap­pre­ci­ated by those who served our na­tion in World War II.

While the flags were be­ing dis­trib­uted one of the res­i­dents passed away. It was not one of the WWII vet­er­ans. Our group was priv­i­leged to stand against the hall­way walls of the res­i­den­tial unit as an aide pushed a wheelchair with a vet­eran with a bu­gle play­ing Taps fol­lowed by a Flag draped gur­ney. This is a tra­di­tion that started at the Payson Vet­er­ans Home and has been im­ple­mented in vet­eran’s fa­cil­i­ties.

Pho­tos: Ed Helmick

Left: Flags given to WWII Vet­er­ans. Right: Vol­un­teers do­nate flags to Vet­er­ans at the Ben­nion Cen­tral Utah Vet­er­ans Home.

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