In honor of the flag of the United States of America, a Flag Retirement Ceremony was recently held by the Jacksonville Composite Squadron. Emceed by Capt. Charles (Chuck) Vaughn, the ceremony began with the reading of the United States Code Title 36, Section 176 which specifies that Old Glory should be destroyed in a dignified way.
Capt. Vaughn introduced two of our Nation’s veterans, Sergeant Reid Harmon USAF (Ret) and Master Chief Robert Johnson NAVY (Ret). Sgt. Harmon served proudly in the U.S. Army Air Corp, later the U.S. Air Force, and he was a Civil Air Patrol Cadet, joining in 1944. Chief Johnson, although not a member of CAP, served his country with distinction, including three trips to the Antarctic in 1939-41 with Admiral Byrd on the USS Bear, 1946-47 and 1948. An unexpected, but welcome guest, was Master Sergeant Thomas Kaye, USAF (Ret) and former CAP cadet during WWII.
Ms. Caroline Adkins from the City of Jacksonville Department of Military Affairs read a Proclamation of Appreciation to Chief Johnson and Sgt. Harmon from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. They received letters from Senator Bill Nelson and Certificates of Appreciation from Jacksonville Composite Squadron.
As Cadet C/Capt. Joshua Guathier and C/2d Lt James Sherline folded a flag, Capt. Vaughn shared what each of the folds represents. A new flag was presented to Chief Johnson and Sgt. Harmon.
CAP Senior Member Jeffrey Valin read “My Name is Old Glory” written by Don S Miller. During the ceremony, over 100 flags were properly retired by the Jacksonville Composite Squadron. Cadets showed honor to each flag as they were properly folded and turned over to the flames.
Chief Johnson said the event was very memorable, and he will never forget it. Sgt. Harmon thanked the squadron for honoring the flag.
This article was produced from the Southeast Region Online News system. Electronic distribution is made possible through syndicated services. For more information, contact the Chief Editor Lt Col Judy Steele at JSteele@sercap.us.