Flag Dedicated for Wounded Heading for Craig Hospital in Afghanistan

June 30, 2014 --- New York City
 
The bright white stars are 9 1/2 inches from tip to tip on this 20’x30’ American flag.  It’s massive.  And it was unfurled recently on the East steps of the US Capitol as a tribute to our Wounded Heroes.
 
This special flag is headed to Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, courtesy of DHL Express.  It will replace a similar-size flag that is currently hanging from the ceiling in an area called Warrior’s Way.  That flag, installed in 2011, will soon be retired.  All the Wounded Warriors coming off the battlefield into the largest US military hospital in Afghanistan pass under this flag.
 
Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon (AaSP) heard about the soon-to-be-retired flag from its “adoptees” in the Chaplain’s Office at Craig Hospital and offered to replace it with a new flag.  The only request – ‘please fly it over the Capitol Dome.’  It was too large for that, but the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs met on the Capitol steps, held it over the balcony and later signed the flag’s header with good wishes for our Troops.
 
“We at the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs are honored to have played a role in preparing this flag for display among our brave troops in Afghanistan. It should serve as a reminder of America’s unyielding commitment to taking care of our heroes as they are fighting abroad and also when they come home,” said Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
 
Prior to being unfurled at the Capitol, the flag was escorted into the 9/11 Memorial at The Pentagon, where it was draped over a table under the words ‘America’s Heroes.’ 
 
“To prepare a flag to hang in Warrior’s Way is quite an honor,” said Alan Krutchkoff, President of Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon.  “We wanted to make sure it was done with the utmost respect and consideration.”
 
In order to hang from the ceiling at Warrior’s Way, fabric channels were sewn on the back, to accommodate poles holding it parallel to the floor.  This was done courtesy of the flag’s manufacturer, Annin Flagmakers of Roseland, NJ. 
 
Annin VP Bob Caggiano said, “We are honored to have made this flag for Craig Joint Theater Hospital, where our brave servicemen and women wounded in the war on terror are treated.”
 
The flag was then featured in a segment with Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Fox & Friends on Monday morning, June 30, at their studio in New York City. The flag  was displayed in the courtyard by DHL’s Alex Jauregui, Sr Director of Operations, Area 4 and other DHL employees; and Alan and Mary-Edna Krutchkoff of AaSP.  Then all the participants signed the flag header.  After its appearance on TV, it was escorted to JFK Int’l Airport, folded, boxed and prepared for its flight by DHL Express to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.  DHL will hand deliver it to the Chaplain’s office there.
 
“DHL Express has a long history of supporting the U.S. military by leveraging our international expertise to deliver comforts and reminders of home to our troops overseas,” said Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express U.S. “When our servicemen and women see this massive U.S. flag with signatures from home – they’ll know they are certainly not forgotten by friends, family and fellow Americans.”
 
The new Flag will arrive in Afghanistan before July 4th.  It will lift spirits far from home, thanks to everyone who made this possible.
 
“Our Troops have made so many sacrifices since 9/11,” said Krutchkoff. “It feels great to be part of something really special for them!”

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