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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

4-Hers know value of respect

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nate Melvin was placing flags on the gravesites of American veterans Thursday afternoon with his fellow Stars 4-H members.
For three years, members of the Stars 4-H Club have been placing flags at the gravesites of American veterans in cemeteries around the county.

It began with 4-H leader Karen Goff's grandfather who was a World War II and Korean War Veteran. Ernest Rasner would take Goff out and place flags on the graves of veterans as Memorial Day approached.

"We try to impress on the kids the sacrifices these people made," said Goff. "When my grandfather passed, I began taking my kids with me."

Three years ago she invited the Stars 4-H Club and others to join her.

Thursday morning as 25 kids scattered over Forest Hill Cemetery carefully placing flags besides the graves of veterans, Goff and her cousin Candy Slepica quietly talked about Slepica's son, Ssgt. Merrill "Ace" Slepica who is completing a second tour of duty overseas.

"I'm so proud of him. He's in Germany now, but was in Afghanistan. He is signing up for a third tour," said Slepica.

Will Niebold, the Putnam County Veterans Affairs Officer, spoke to the group before they began. He told them how much he, as a veteran, appreciated seeing the flags in cemeteries.

"You don't know how much it means to me to see all those flags over the veterans graves. It makes me feel really, really good," he observed.

Zach Melvin also spoke to his fellow 4-H members reminding them of what they learned in the week prior about how to treat the flag and how to respect the veterans' gravesites.

"Take time to read the stones. Some of them were in wars a long time ago. I've even seen some with purple hearts on them. Remember, be respectful," he said.

One member of the Stars called the Banner Graphic to tell about their planned project.

Samantha Teall has been helping with the project for all three years. She explained how they spent the week before talking about the flag and even offered to write an article about it.

"I'm glad we get to do it," said Teall.

A few of the kids even have veterans as parents. The brother team of Nate and Zach Miller were proud to speak of their father, who served in the Navy. Several parents also had family members who serve or have served in the armed forces.

Forest Hill was not the only stop for the children. They visited a few of the smaller cemeteries in Putnam County.

"There are over 100 graveyards, some of them in the middle of corn fields," Goff said. "I wish we could get to them all, but it just isn't possible."

For more pictures of the Stars honoring the veterans, click here.

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What a nice thing to do and it helps the

children to realize what they grandfathers and

gt grandfathers have given to keep our freedom.

-- Posted by Voter on Fri, May 22, 2009, at 6:55 AM

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