Community and Honor Guard gather to honor one of Mesquite’s Veterans

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Bill Strickland and his wife, Phyllis, enjoyed shade provided by a tent in their driveway Wednesday, as the Mesquite Honor Guard dedicated a new flag pole and flag to the US Army Veteran. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Bill Strickland and his wife, Phyllis, enjoyed shade provided by a tent in their driveway Wednesday, as the Mesquite Honor Guard dedicated a new flag pole and flag to the US Army Veteran. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

A few weeks ago, local resident and US Army Veteran Bill Strickland was admiring another resident’s flag pole. According to Robert Nielson, Strickland’s wife, Phyllis, told him that Bill “just loves your flag pole. Can you order him a flagpole like it?”

And so, the plan was set into motion to surprise Bill with a flagpole. With the help of one Corbin Van Nest, Nielson helped prepare their property on Navajo Street and erected the pole just last Saturday with the help of Ace Hardware’s employee, Vern Gouldby. Ace Hardware volunteered the equipment needed while Vern operated it to ensure the installation went smoothly.

When asked how Strickland could ever repay him, Nielson told him, “Bill, you don’t have to pay us.” When questioned by Strickland on why anyone would want to do this for him, Nielson responded with “because it makes us feel good in our hearts.”

Attendees look on as Tony Hardway raises the flag on the new pole dedicated to Bill Strickland. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Attendees look on as Tony Hardway raises the flag on the new pole dedicated to Bill Strickland. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

This morning, several neighbors and other community residents joined the Mesquite Honor Guard, who arrived in full uniform at 9 a.m. and performed a proper flag-raising ceremony led by Tony Hardway. Accompanied by Dennis Hangey on the bagpipes, the Honor Guard hoisted the flag on the pole for the first time, to honor one of Mesquite’s Veterans.

Knowing that there are still some very kind-hearted people in this community is just one more reason why so many call Mesquite ‘Home’.

With the flag hoisted to the top, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by attendees. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

With the flag hoisted to the top, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by attendees. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

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