COVINGTON — One local family got together to show appreciation for the servicemen in their family with a special honor.
The Adams family of Covington, along with extended family members and friends, got together for their weekly family breakfast at Buffalo Jack’s Restaurant in Covington, only Wednesday’s breakfast also surprised veterans in the family with two special American flags. The two flags were flown over the Pentagon last year as part of the “Flag Flown over the Pentagon” program, which certifies a specific flag as flying over the Pentagon in someone’s honor.
“This is a way to honor what they’ve done,” CWO3 Paul Reece, USAR, said. Reece was home on leave this week when he made the presentation for Marion and Marvin Adams. Marvin shared his honor with his brother Paul, also a veteran.
Marion Adams is a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy between 1942 and 1946. Marion was a radioman on an LST and participated in the Normandy Invasion, Southern France Invasion, and Okinawa Invasion.
Marvin, one of Marion’s sons, is a Vietnam veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy between August 1971 and April 1975. One of Marion’s other sons, Paul, also served in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam on the USS Gearing and the USS Weeks.
“For fellow veterans, our nation, our military members, and our families are forever in debt for all that you have given,” Reece said. “You served during some of the toughest times. You served when there was no such things as emails, cell phones, satellites, phone or video chats. Your loved ones often had no real way of knowing if you were hungry, scared, lost, or hurt. You ate sea rations, mountain rations, jungle rations. Sometimes you didn’t have anything to eat. Some of you returned home to a nation grateful for your service. Others returned home during a time when there was no welcome.
“Today, on behalf of my fellow brothers and sisters in uniform, please know this: You have all provided experience, mentorship, leadership, and training to all of us in uniform. Your past experiences have set the standards for us who follow behind you. You bared true faith and allegiance to our country. You fulfilled your obligations. You put the welfare of a nation before your own.”
Reece summed up the meaning behind his speech as, “We look up to you.”
Reece also thanked the spouses and family members of the service members for being strong while their loved ones were away. To them, Reece said, “You’re a blessing.”
Reece and Marvin first presented a flag to Marion.
“From my brothers, sister, and myself, I would like to present this flag in your honor that flew over the Pentagon on Nov. 3, 2016,” Marvin said.
“I just don’t know what to say,” Marion said. About his service, he added, “If I had to, I would do it again.”
Later, Marion said he was completely surprised and had no idea that the presentation was coming.
“I feel like a king,” Marion said.
The presentation also honored Marvin, as Reece surprised him with a flag as well.
“You’re a good friend, and I can’t thank you enough for being my friend,” Reece said.
Reece presented the flag that had flown over the Pentagon on Dec. 19, 2016, to Marvin “on behalf of a grateful nation.”
“This means a lot to me. This is more honor than I got from the government,” Marvin said. “This means so much to me because it comes from a very dear friend.”
Marvin added later that he saw this recognition as being both for his older brother Paul and himself.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336