Alabama soldiers to receive flags

Published 4:34 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A decision Wednesday by the members of the Alabama Senate and House Democratic Caucuses have created a “Freedom Fund” for Alabama troops fighting for America.
A published story about the Governor’s office denial of a request for a flag by an Alabama soldier fighting in Afghanistan may have prompted the decision.
Senator Marc Keahey, D-Grove Hill, said the focus of such honors as the presentation of a flag should not be limited to the families of fallen soldiers.
“Many Alabamians have given the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – fighting for our freedom,” Keahey said. “I am proud Alabama provides next-of-kin with flags to honor our fallen soldiers. But our focus must also be on the living.”
Other political leaders agreed that troops’ requests for an Alabama flag to be flown over their foreign camps should be honored.
“We must take care of our troops and veterans,” Senate Minority Leader Roger Bedford (D-Russellville) said Wednesday.
“Every lawmaker gets Alabama flags for our constituents, and we will be happy to fulfill any soldier’s request for one. It is our honor to send an Alabama flag to Army Sgt. 1st Class Howard J. Blake Jr. for him to proudly fly over his camp. In addition, we are forming our ‘Freedom Fund’ so we can help ensure that every request from Alabama’s fighting men and women is answered,” said House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden).

“Our troops spend months and years thousands of miles from home separated from their loved ones. Sending a flag to help make a foreign land feel more like Sweet Home Alabama is one small thing we can do – and must do – to show our appreciation for all they sacrifice for our freedom.,” said Bedford.
“The men and women fighting abroad love Alabama and love America, and when they ask something of us, our response must be, without hesitation, in the affirmative,” said Rep. Marcel Black (D-Tuscumbia)
���Democrats’ focus has always been on creating jobs, educating our children, caring for our seniors and providing for our troops – both during and after their service to our country. Our Freedom Fund gives us another way to help Alabamians who have dedicated their lives to Alabama and to America,” said Senator Priscilla Dunn (D-Bessemer).

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