BAGHDAD, Iraq –
As a way to give back to their communities and loved ones back home, Joint Task Force Med 374 members dedicated U.S. American flags near the Role 3 Hospital Center on Veterans Day. The flag dedication recipients ranged from friends, family, veterans’ organizations, civilian employers, and even elementary schools. Each of the flags was then properly flown with a four-man flag detail, saluted, and then folded into the traditional triangle pattern. Each of the flags was also accompanied with an official flag certification signed and dated by JTF Med 374 Hospital Commander and Command Sgt. Major.
"This is not just as a flag,” said Capt. Brandon Janson, one of the Soldiers who wanted to fly flags on Veterans Day. “This is a one-of-a-kind way to thank the people supporting me back home. I know Veterans Day is to thank veterans, but I could not do my job here if it were not for all the people backing me up at home. You can not buy something like this in the store,” he said.
To further commemorate Veterans Day, the Task Force also included a formal training event at one of the scheduled hospital huddles. The training was led by Sgt. James Lingenfelter, patient administration department (PAD) NCO, who was not scheduled to give any training that day. Taking it upon himself, he requested special permission from the hospital commander to give the class.
“Veterans Day is very near and dear to my heart,” Sgt. Lingenfelter. “Veterans day has a lot of meaning to me and my family as many of us have served in the military. My grandfather was in the Army and served in Korea, and I have two uncles who also served in the military,” said Lingenfelter.
The briefing reviewed significant public figures related to the holiday, interesting facts, as well as some personal pictures of his extensive patch collection.
Of note, Lingenfelter discussed some of the early happenings of the nationally recognized holiday. Veterans Day also falls on the same day as Remembrance Day, or what the U.S. formerly observed as Armistice Day. Both holidays are attributed to the final day of World War One. However, veteran groups pushed for a different holiday designation to recognize living service members as the country became involved in other wars and conflicts, such as World War II and Korea.
Lingenfelter also flew flags on Veterans Day, dedicating his flags to the high school he graduated from in central Illinois and the American Legion chapter, where he is an active member and holds a post leadership position.