ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - An air force veteran, who also served on Carter County’s Election Commission, was honored today with an American flag that was flown over the Tennessee state capitol.
State Senator Rusty Crowe, R – Johnson City, presented the flag to the family of Bud Whitehead at the Elizabethton Veteran's Walk of Honor.
Whitehead's sister, retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Sara Sellers, who herself served a unique 30 year career, accepted the flag on his behalf. Sellers even served at the command of the president.
"President Bush appointed me to the American Battle Monuments Commission,” Sellers said. “We have thousands of people still buried in some of the graves in eight different countries."
Her job was to travel to those graves on behalf of families that couldn't make the trip and pay respects in their places.
"I would pray,” Sellers said. “I would take a little flower to different cemeteries."
She remembers one family that was particularly touching.
"They had 3 sons that were buried side by side,” Sellers said. “You just would not believe all the things that you would see."
She was happy that she finally had an opportunity to honor her brother. Crowe also said that he was proud to present the flag.
During the ceremony, Carter County ROTC cadets raised new flags and retired old ones from the Walk of Honor. The flags represented all military branches, as well as MIA/POW.
Sellers said that she would take the flag to her brother at the hospital. She said he would be excited to receive it.
Crowe said the state responds to requests for flags from the state capitol for service members. You can contact your state senator's office to make that request.
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