Legion to hoist unique flag

FAIRMONT – There will be a special presentation at the Flag Day ceremony at the Fairmont Legion next weekend.

“We’re going to present a flag that comes from Afghanistan,” said Leon Gerken, a member of the Post. “It all started with my 80th birthday. My kids went and put it in the paper, and I ended up getting the flag that was flown on a reconnaissance flight over Afghanistan on my birthday in February.”

A second flag that flew over Afghanistan on New Year’s Day of this year will be the one presented to the Legion during Flag Day ceremonies.

“My daughter-in-law has a sister, Paula (Ziegler) Johnson, who served for 20 years in the service and asked to go back,” Gerken said. “She was put into security with Operation: Enduring Freedom. This is her second civil service job. She’s with the intelligence and security command, which means I ask her a bunch of questions she won’t answer.”

The flag being presented was flown on New Year’s Day over the Intelligence and Security Command post in Afghanistan.

“They’re going to keep a lot of people over there,” Gerken said. “There’s going to be a lot of security people there just like in Iraq.”

The flags also have documentation from the Intelligence and Security Command for the dates and locations flown, and the official presentation to the new entities taking possession of the flag.

Official presentation of the Afghanistan flag to the Legion will be at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The Legion also will host a Belgian Waffle breakfast at 95 Downtown Plaza from 7:30-10:30 a.m. Admission is free to Martin County veterans, $5 for adults and $4 for ages 6-12. Carryout orders are also available for $6.