Local veteran awarded handmade flag

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Donna Formhals, left, presents her handmade flag to Army veteran Jerry Shelton on May 30 at the Central Crossing Senior Center's Memorial Day cookout. Formhals donated the flag to be awarded to a local veteran for their service. Contributed photo

Central Crossing Senior Center honored veterans on Memorial Day

A 79-year-old man who joined the U.S. Army when he was 16 was recently honored and won a crocheted U.S. Flag during the Central Crossing Senior Center's Memorial Day cookout.

Jerry Shelton's name was drawn during the cookout to receive the handmade flag for his service. The center's cookout honored Shelton and other veterans from all services, including the U.S. Coast Guard.

"I enlisted when school started becoming more difficult, and I decided I'd rather serve my country," Shelton said.

David Atkinson, VFW post commander, said when veterans like Shelton sign up for service in the U.S. Military, they write a blank check to the nation, offering to give whatever they have and whatever it takes. Shelton served in the army from 1953 to 1957 in the 11th

Airborne Division.

"I am proud to say that I had the opportunity to defend my country, but I'm one out of thousands who have done a lot for our country," he said. "They all deserve to be honored too."

The flag now lays on Shelton's couch in his recreational room. The crocheter of the flag, Donna Formhals, advised him to display it that way to avoid stretching it.

Formhals and O.J. Thompson, the senior center's administrator, decided to give away the flag at the cookout as a way to honor the local veterans for Memorial Day.

The Central Crossing Senior Center's cookout was held on May 30, the traditional Memorial Day.