It takes only 88 cents to pay for a flag to mark a veteran’s grave in Richmond County.
The annual volunteer effort is spearheaded by Hamlet resident Jimmy Brigman, of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 59. Brigman himself is a retired master sergeant who served 23 years, eight months and 14 days in the U.S. Army. He saw combat during World War II and the Korean War and, with the 82nd Airborne Division, is credited with 486 jumps.
The twice-wounded veteran — Brigman himself is disabled — has spent each of the past 25-plus Memorial Day weekends placing flags on the graves of Richmond County veterans. The time he and his fellow volunteers from the DAV do so is not reimbursed. There are nearly 7,400 graves in Richmond County that are marked with an American flag each May, all thanks to Brigman and his cohorts.
To place the flags costs money. When the 85-year-old visited The Daily Journal on Wednesday to submit a letter to the editor, he noted the government used to pay for the flags. That’s no longer the case, and Disabled American Veterans relies solely on contributions from private entities and individuals to make the annual recognition work.
It’s a joint effort, to be sure. Brigman can’t do it alone, so he and his fellow DAV volunteers enlist the help of students from Temple Christian Academy and Richmond Senior High School’s JROTC program.
It’s not yet Memorial Day. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was more than a month ago. Veterans Day was nearly two months ago. But take a moment and consider that your donation, even of 88 cents, will go a long way, every day, to recognize soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines for a job well done.