4-H group gives homage to veterans

Friday, May 28, 2010
Connor Goff, Nate Melvin and Sam Melvin were putting out flags on veteran's graves at Forest Hill Cemetery Thursday morning. The boys are members of the Greencastle Stars 4-H Club.

GREENCASTLE -- This is the fourth year that members of the Greencastle 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.

When her grandfather passed away, she began taking her kids with her to her grandfather's gravesite and to other veterans' graves, placing flags on them. Four years ago she decided to invite her 4-H club to join her.

Club members learn about the flag and what it means prior to going out the cemeteries to place flags on veteran graves.

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.

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. He re-enlisted recently and just left yesterday to serve as a chaplain on a navy vessel in the Mediterranean Ocean.

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 were heading to the Old City Cemetery near Blackstock Stadium after they finished with Forest Hill. At 4 p.m. they were at Brick Chapel Cemetery placing flags there.

The 4-Hers were able to add Brick Chapel to their list of cemeteries, thanks to two businesses that donated more flags this year.

The Greencastle Stars 4-H Club took a moment to pose around the American Veteran's monument at Forest Hill Cemetery. This is the fourth year the club has placed flags on veteran graves. Seen here are Dani and Donny Brewer, Michala and Zach Cowley, Charlie Campbell, Anna Gast, Bailey and Connor Goff, Tori Gygi, Allie Holton, Zach, Josh, Nate, Sam and Abbey Melvin, Chance and Grace Merrill, Joshua, Jordan, Jayden, Janelle and Jace Miller, Katei Plasters, Jesse and Reese Riser, JenJe Jevor Strouder, Laramie Samantha Teal and Greencastle Stars 4-H leader Karen Goff.

"We really want to thank Hayes, Murphy, Sharp and Brackney and Cox Trucking," said Karen Goff. "Thanks to them we have 144 more flags to put out."

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  • Great story! Thank you to the 4H leader who is teaching the kids respect to not only the veterans who fought to keep our country safe, but for the respect to the American flag. I was beginning to feel that the youth of today do not understand the importance of paying respect to the flag, standing at a parade when it passes by, learning the Pledge to the Flag, etc. That is not just a red, white and blue piece of material. It stands for our freedom and our rights. Thank you, you should be proud! And thank the kids and tell them to keep up the good work. They are the hope for tomorrow!God Bless you all!

    -- Posted by interested party on Fri, May 28, 2010, at 1:25 PM
  • This is a very good thing. I applaud this 4H group and the persons and businesses who donated for the flag purchases and made this possible. My father served in WWII in the U.S. Navy. We owe so much to all who have served to protect our country and freedoms. May we never forget all that so many gave for us.

    -- Posted by MLHazelrigg on Fri, May 28, 2010, at 10:03 PM
  • just wanted to say thank you and the flags looked very good today, i was there at the memorial day ceremony and it looked great thank you and god bless

    -- Posted by lleonard47 on Mon, May 31, 2010, at 7:45 PM
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