From Fallujah to Brainerd.
An American flag, which flew above the Iraqi desert on Jan. 25, was hoisted into a brilliant blue sky in Brainerd Thursday. Bob Volkmuth received a certificate and the flag unexpectedly - sent from his brother Tim, who has been in Iraq nearly a year.
Receiving the flag was an honor, Volkmuth said. The certificate Volkmuth received from the Navy notes that the flag was flown at Battle Square for him. The certificate is signed by a Navy captain and Volkmuth's brother, Tim.
Volkmuth, Brainerd, didn't mind saying he was emotional when he talked to his general manager at Lexington Manufacturing about flying the flag there for a day.
"I thought it would be fitting that it flew there and it flew here in the land of the free," Volkmuth said.
Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
General Manager Mike Dillon did more than that. Lexington Manufacturing, which typically flies the American, Canadian and Minnesota flags, flew only Volkmuth's flag.
"I thought it was very touching of him to do that," Volkmuth said.
His brother - a supply chief with the 3rd Naval Construction Regiment - is deployed with Navy Construction Battalion 25 and is stationed at Camp Fallujah, Iraq. The family hopes Tim will return in March. Until then, they know service members delight in getting packages from home and have been doing their best to fill that need.
Bob said his 55-year-old brother could probably have gotten out of his deployment, but had no intention of avoiding his service duty.
This spring, Bob plans to put up a special flag pole at his Brainerd home. Since his deployment, Tim returned home once to see his dying father. Bob said his father passed away seven hours after Tim left.
"At least he saw him when he was alive - that was really something," Bob said.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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