By Barbie Porter
The Frazee VFW and AmVets teamed up to ensure every classroom at Frazee Elementary had a U.S. flag properly hung.
Teachers Shelly Oswald and Sheila Jepson informed the AmVets at one of their meetings that some classrooms didn’t have flags, or they were taped to the wall.
“I thought, what do you mean they don’t have flags?” AmVet member Rodger Palmer said.
Instead of focusing on how that change happened, the AmVets decided they would fix the problem.
“We were going to pay for the whole thing, but the VFW came in and said they would like to split the costs,” Palmer reported, adding the manager of the VFW ordered about 50 flags. “We wanted to make sure the kids learn what patriotism is and that they can still do the pledge every day.”
AmVet member Don Trieglaff offered to provide an engraved plaque memorializing Greg Riewer.
The son of Richard and Janice Riewer was a 1997 Frazee High School graduate and joined the Army National Guard the same year. The Frazee resident was 28-years-old and serving with the 136th Infantry in Iraq when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. He died on March 23, 2007 near Habbaniyah, Iraq.
Palmer said the AmVets talked about if the plaque would raise difficult questions from elementary students. But the consensus was there was no harm in the truth being told.
“They absolutely need to know,” Palmer said.
The flag hanging process took two days. During a weekend, volunteers were invited into the school to install mounting brackets. Volunteers returned on Martin Luther King Day, as the school was closed other than for maintenance crews. The flags were hung and the plaques installed.
“We may have missed a few rooms because some were locked, but we will get back up there and clean that up,” Palmer said.
The teachers expressed appreciation for the act of kindness.