For the second year in a row, youth from Temple Christian Academy helped a Word War II and Korean Conflict veteran place flags on the graves of other veterans in honor of Memorial Day.
Veteran RT “Jimmy” Brigman, a retired Master Sergeant of the U.S. Army, came home with a Purple Heart after years of service and deployments in combat that left him injured. With pins in his leg and a variety of other ailments, Brigman said he still does what he can for other veterans. He is a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and collects money for the flags each year.
“I’m not complaining and I’m not bragging,” said Brigman about his tours and his injuries. “I got hurt really badly over there but what hurts the most is those that did not come home.”
Early Friday morning, as the sun rose over Rockingham, Brigman met with the youth at Richmond Memorial Park and Cemetery.
Brigman passed out 4,000 flags to the youth and some of his own friends and everyone got to work. They collected old and torn flags, and put flags on all graves that indicated a person had served in the military. Brigman takes old flags to be ceremoniously destroyed at the American Legion.
Brigman said he received generous donations from everyone and wanted to thank the people of Richmond County for making the flags both a possibility and a tradition that Temple Christian Academy might be taking on. He said he especially wanted to thank John Garner and Gwen O’Neal for donating $1,600 to his cause.
Before departing from the cemetery, one student sang the National Anthem and another lead the group in prayer. Brigman shared his gratitude with them and thanked them for their help.
“You all have helped the DAV so much today,” said Brigman.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.