Stolen flag dampens Fourth for Amvets

Published 1:34 am Saturday, July 7, 2018

On Wednesday, members of Amvets Post 23 in Opp lined the entrance of Lake Frank Jackson with American flags for the community’s Fourth of July celebration, and although everybody had fun celebrating the holiday, the day ended with thievery.

Dennis Cunningham said that Amvets participated in the Fourth of July event at the request of Mayor Becky Bracke.

“Everybody was having a great time,” Cunningham said. “Then the post commander had to leave around 2 p.m. and another one of our vets came around 2:20 p.m., and said that one of our flags was missing.”

Cunningham said that they have not received any calls about the stolen flag, but that it is his sincere hope that whoever has possession of the missing flag will enjoy it.

“The thing is, if he would have come up to me and said he wanted the flag then we probably would have given it to him,” Cunningham said. “We’ve given flags to schools because theirs were tattered and worn, but they always bring their old ones to us and we have a proper disposal ceremony on Memorial Day.”

Cunningham said that nobody saw the person who stole the flag or was around the area when it happened.

“I don’t know if we will get any calls about it,” Cunningham said. “But the least we could do is get the word out. These flags are the property of Amvets Post 23 of Opp, and as such does not give the perpetrator of this deed the right to help themselves to someone else’s property.”

Despite the theft, Cunningham said that everyone at the event had a great time, and this will not stop them from participating again.

“We all had a great time,” Cunningham said. “We set up a display of combat flags from World War I and there were about 50 to 70 people taking pictures of it. I’m glad we got to participate and I am sure we will participate again.”

Cunningham said that the Amvets Post 23 is the only service center in Alabama.

“There are several other posts in Alabama, but we are the only service center,” Cunningham said. “We assist other veterans with benefits, helping family members with markers for their loved ones graves and every veteran here volunteers their time.”

Some other things that the Amvets Post 23 do are Vietnam Veterans 50th Commemoration partnership, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, military funeral honor guard, military veterans graves recording, honorary placement of flags on veterans graves for memorial day and veterans day, POW-MIA Day honors, Mission 22 honors, R.E.D. Friday Supporter, homeless veteran assistance, collecting Christmas cards to send to troops through United Service Organizations, making families aware of the “free” veteran grave markers and patriotic programs in churches and schools and much more.

The next quarter meeting for the Amvets Post 23 will be Thu., July 12 at 7 p.m.

The next events that the Amvets Post 23 will have are the 9-11 Remembrance Day and the POW-MIA Day.

Anyone with information about the stolen American Flag, is asked to contact Cunningham at 334-406-2576.