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McDonald County Veteran Honored More Than Seven Decades After Pa - KOAM TV 7

McDonald County Veteran Honored More Than Seven Decades After Passing

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PINEVILLE, MISSOURI -

"I had always felt that he deserved a flag but I kinda put it aside because so many years had gone by"

Jean Bird's brother Eldon Stratton died 74 years ago while fighting the Japanese in WWII.

"They sent my brother's plane down on fire"
His body was never recovered. Jean believes that might be why her family never received a flag in his honor, like they did for her father who was a prisoner of war in WWI.
She also got a flag for her husband who was a combat pilot in two wars who became a prisoner of war in WWII.
But now, all of her beloved veterans have a flag, thanks to organizations like the American Legion.

"The families want military honors, we take the flags and go and set them up, fire the volleys and the family's presented with the United States flag. And we present the medallion from the state of Missouri to the loved ones of the deceased" says Sgt. John Naylor from the American Legion.

 Jean Bird finally receives an American flag in her brother's honor.

"This flag means freedom. It also Means someone has died, but it also means they have also given their life for the freedom we still have today" she says.

And uses this time or remembrance for her brother to express her gratitude for all others who have served.

"Thanks seems like a small word but our heartfelt thanks again for giving us our freedom, freedom is not free"

A concept she and her family know all too well.

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