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Athalia gets new flags, thanks to local family

Jun. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

ATHALIA, Ohio -- The village of Athalia will be flying brand new stars and stripes on Flag Day, Friday, June 14, thanks to one concerned family.

According to resident Barb Ward, the village has traditionally displayed flags each Memorial Day, but her husband, Ron Ward, a U.S. Navy veteran, was disappointed to learn the flags were not erected for the holiday last month. Barb Ward said village officials told her family that the flags were too faded and tattered to be flown, and the village budget did not contain funds to purchase new ones.

That's when the Wards' son and daughter-in-law stepped in. Willie and Samantha Ward, owners of Ward's Service Center, Inc., in Proctorville, purchased more than 30 brand-new flags for the village.

Ron Ward, who served in the U.S. Navy Seabees from July 1968 through July 1972, and who was a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years, also contributed to the effort. He refurbished the village's flag poles and mounted the new flags so they would be ready to be displayed on Flag Day, which also happens to be Ron Ward's birthday.

The new flags will be displayed through July 4.

"Being proud of our service men and our country, I feel it is the least we can do as a small town to honor them by displaying flags," Barb Ward said. "Thank you Ron, Willie and Samantha for seeing to it that this can be done."