Army Veteran Finally Honored with Flag 60 Years After Retiring

by Emily Morgan

A Mississippi man helped a veteran obtain the one thing he always wanted but never received: an American flag honoring his service.

Although 92-year-old Jack Thornton retired from active duty more than 60 years ago, he finally got the honor after serving in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1957.

He retired as a Command Sergeant Major (CSM), the highest non-commissioned officer rank in the Army. He would often tell Kevin Kelly that he always wanted to be gifted a flag. Kelly, also a retired CSM, tried to make it right.

“When you have 0.8 percent of people who enter the Army to make that … that was just something else besides jumping out of airplanes and being in the Army together that we both share,” Kelly said.

“Whenever I met him, one of the things we talked about was first we talked about jumping out of airplanes together, and he was like, ‘The only thing that I regret is I never got a flag when I retired from the Army,'” he told Fox News.

Kelly reached out to his brother Congressman, Trent Kelly and requested a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in Thornton’s honor, which he gifted to the veteran on Wednesday. For Thornton, receiving the flag was “the highest honor” he’s ever received.

“I thank this country for putting up with me and God being in the path of righteousness. And to Laurel, my home and I love my home state,” Thornton said.

According to Kelly, he considers Thorton “a great man,” writing in a post on Facebook that it was an honor to call him “a fried and a Brother-in-Arms.”

Fellow Army Veteran Honored With American Flag

Recently another American veteran got the gift of a lifetime. A series of American flags have flown over Storage 105 as a symbol of patriotism. Drivers can see the flag as they drive along the Texas 105 route.

Jack McClanahan found the biggest American flag he could find and hoisted it up the tallest flag pole to show his patriotic support.

The spot has been a popular spot amoung veterans following the end of the Lone Star Honor Flight program that brought 515 local World War II veterans to Washington DC.

On Wednesday, an American flag unraveled to recognize 102-year-old veteran Lewis Shannon. Shannon has not been to Montgomery since June 2020 because of COVID-19. However, his doctor finally allowed him to return to Texas.