New U.S., Ohio flags donated by Bellaire VFW

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON
TERRY WILDMAN, a Vietnam war veteran, sits atop a ladder after installing a new state of Ohio flag at The Times Leader office on Fourth Street in Martins Ferry on Tuesday. He also installed an American flag on another pole at the building. The flags were donated by the Bellaire VFW Post 626.

T-L Photo/SHELLEY HANSON TERRY WILDMAN, a Vietnam war veteran, sits atop a ladder after installing a new state of Ohio flag at The Times Leader office on Fourth Street in Martins Ferry on Tuesday. He also installed an American flag on another pole at the building. The flags were donated by the Bellaire VFW Post 626.

MARTINS FERRY — It’s important and necessary for businesses and individuals to display the American flag now more than ever, a local veteran said.

Vietnam veteran Terry Wildman on Tuesday installed two new flags — an American flag and a state of Ohio flag — at The Times Leader office on Fourth Street in Martins Ferry. The flags were donated by the Bellaire VFW Post 626.

After climbing up a tall ladder to change out the old flags with the new, Wildman shared his thoughts on why allegiance to the flag matters.

“I’ve done this for the past two or three years for The Times Leader. It’s become a tradition to change their flags for them. I don’t like to see any flags when they’re out of time — when they’re shredded or lose color,” Wildman said. “I like to keep them changed and be proud we’re Americans.

“In this day and age, we have to remember we’re Americans. The American flag is the history of this country. It’s fought in the all the wars we’ve fought in and thousands and thousands of men have died for the right to that flag and the Constitution of this country.

“It’s time for everyone, and I mean everyone — businesses and no matter who you are, individuals — we need to fly our flag. We need to show the people in this country who are not Americans that we are Americans and we will not stand for anyone trying to overtake our country from within.”

Wildman, a Martins Ferry resident, served two tours of duty in the Vietnam war.

“Our young people need to understand that it doesn’t matter the color of your skin or your nationality. If you live in this country you are an American. You should have the courtesy to abide by our laws and our Constitution and the flag we fly in this country.”

“If you don’t like those things then you need to leave. That’s who I am — I’m an American and I’m proud of it,” he added.

Wildman noted people also should not hesitate to shake a veteran’s hand and thank them for their service, as veterans appreciate the thanks.

The old flags will be burned during a future flag-burning ceremony at the VFW, he added.

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