Iraq war flag flown in battle finds a new home with the American Legion in Elgin.
In 2006, an American flag proudly flew on a U.S. military base in Iraq in honor of The Courier News and its readers. Now, that Iraq War flag will have a new home with the American Legion Post 57 in Elgin (near Chicago) thanks to the gracious donate by the news company.
The Courier News received the Iraq War flag way back in August of 2006, at the height of the war. Sgt. 1st Class Randy Henk and fellow soldiers stationed at Camp Ramadi sent the flag overseas. As a native of Elgin, Henk used to write a column for the newspaper titled “Letter to the Homefront,” where he informed the folks back home about the conditions abroad. He started the column in the 1990’s when he was deployed with the Army to Bosnia.
In one particular column, he wrote about the intense 120-degree desert heat and the refreshment stand him and his fellow troops set up. From there the paper decided they could help and asked readers to send in donations of kind to be sent over to Iraq. The response was overwhelming and the Courier News sent over more than 20 large boxes of various goodies from home ranging from cereal to peanut butter.
Henk and the soldiers were so thankful for donations they wanted to show their gratitude for the generous gifts. In response they hoisted up Old Glory in the face of the enemy to honor of the paper and shipped those stars and stripes back home as a symbol of their thanks. A commemorative certificate also accompanied the American flag.
Employees at the Courier News professionally mounted and framed the 5-by-3.5- foot flag and certificate and put them on display in the front lobby until builder closures forced the flag to be moved. “The flag really belongs to the community,” said Courier-News news editor Paul Harth, who was Henk’s editor. “We’re just caretakers of this piece of history.” Staff as the paper decided the American Legion was the most appropriate home to give their Iraq War flag treasure.
Credit: Courier News