Child with a Rare Disorder Receives American Flag from Veterans

During the Million Vet March, a child with a rare disorder receives American Flag from veterans.

In Madison, Alabama, seven-year-old Caleb Wortham has not been able to attend school for quite some time. Two months ago, he was diagnosed with Henoch Schlonein Purpura (HSP). But, a few weeks ago Caleb and his family got a first-hand lesson in civics from a group of veterans.

Veterans and Marine Flag

Caleb is second youngest of five sons in the Wortham family. HSP is an autoimmune disease that causes purple spots to form on the skin, gastrointestinal problems, joint pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. He was just an average, active second-grader a few months ago and is now confined to a wheel chair.

On their way back from a trip to NYC, the Wortham family decided to stop in Washington, DC. When they arrived, there was an outpouring of media, so they decided to head to the World War II memorial to pay tribute to the men and women who gave their life to protect this country.

A few thousand people were gathered at the Memorial that day for the Million Vet March to protest the government shutdown and closure to the monuments. Caleb and his family watched from the back, where a few organizers who noticed Caleb in his wheel chair approached them.

child with American Flag

After Caleb told the crowd his oldest brother was joining the Marines, a flood of veterans and active duty military personnel came over the talk to the family. From there, the Marines that were present congratulated the boy on his strength and held a small impromptu flag ceremony right in front of Caleb and his family. The veterans started folding an American flag that actually flew over the WWII memorial that very day.

The Wortham’s visited what other memorials that day they could, including the Lincoln Memorial. A group of strangers even helped carry Caleb and his wheelchair up the steps. The trip was the opportunity of a lifetime that neither Caleb nor his family will soon forget. The American flag is an added symbol of the generosity and kindness of the veterans and Marines from that day.


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