MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Not many people thought much of the ragged American flag flown at the Atlas Self Storage facility on Adobe Road in Twentynine Palms, and if they did, no one stopped to say anything.
The members of the Combat Center’s Young Marines Program took it upon themselves to pay honor and respect to the Colors by replacing it with a new flag April 16, 2011, morning.
“This makes me very proud,” said Jim Petras, the manager of Atlas Self Storage. “The flag means a lot, and to see these kids come out here is awesome. The leaders of the Young Marines do a great job.”
Staff Sgt. Daniel Montegue, the unit commander for the Young Marine Program, saw the tattered flag on his way to work one day a few weeks prior.
Montegue decided to use the situation to teach his Young Marines a valuable lesson.
“We wanted [the Young Marines] to understand that it’s not just a flag, it’s our country,” Montegue said. “It’s a reputation and sacrifice that we respect by honoring our flag.”
The group also got to practice how to conduct an official colors ceremony. But, it didn’t go as smoothly as they expected.
It was a struggle to fold the faded flag after it came down after replacing it, because the flag was torn at nearly every seam, particularly the ones joining the red and white stripes.
“I have a lot of pride right now,” said Mary Stuckey, a Young Marines lance corporal in who participated in the color ceremony. “Seeing it the way it was and how it is now, it feels good.”
For more information on the Young Marines Program or upcoming events, contact Montegue at 910-545-1576.