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Stacy’s Dad Flew a Washington State Flag in Vietnam — Now See It on Display!

Andrew Kirk

My dad kept a Washington state flag from his service in Vietnam. There’s a cool story that goes along with it and now the flag and its story is on display at the Federal Building in Richland! Check out what it says:

The veteran who owns this Washington state flag flew it proudly above his bunker while on active duty during the Vietnam War. It was  hit by shrapnel during an enemy attack in 1968, but it flew until the Marine, Tom, came home. Here’s his story: Tom worked as an ammunition technician in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968, setting up ammunition dumps at several military bases. During the Tet Offensive, when a cease-fire was supposedly in effect, a series of surprise enemy attacks began. Tom was assigned to help set up a new base called LZ Stud. Concurrently, Tom’s mother read about a program to send flags to troops overseas. With pride, she sent this Washington flag to her son. When the flag arrived, Tom put it on a pole on the top of his bunker. On June 6, 1968, enemy rockets began flying toward the base in yet another attack. Four new arrivals were hunkered down in their partially-constructed bunker as rockets screamed toward them. Realizing his fellow troops were in danger, Tom ran to the men, leading them into the safety of his bunker, just before the rounds hit their bunker. The troops were safe, but shrapnel from the attack left the mark on this flag. Despite the damage, Tom continued to fly this flag until he left Vietnam a month later. It was ‘a thing of pride for the State and everything we stood for,’ he says. ‘I definitely wasn’t going to leave it there.’

Andrew Kirk
Andrew Kirk

Listen Monday for our live interview with the group that framed the flag. Word is, after displaying at the Federal Building it will go on tour around the Tri-Cities. So if you don’t make it to Richland, check to see if it will appear in a civic building near you.

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