OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – Which words run through your mind when you look at the American flag? Freedom? Pride? Patriotism? For many veterans – sacrifice – is their first thought.
And now a group of motorcycle bikers has made it their mission to pay it forward to veterans by installing free flagpoles to stand proudly on their front lawns.
“I did six months over in Desert Storm. I was in the liberation of Kuwait with the 1st Infantry Division.” Memories from combat on the front line race through David Chamberlain’s mind as if it were yesterday.
David is an Army veteran who served six years fighting on battle grounds overseas, and now for common ground here at home.
“You’ve got all the politics and everything dividing us, and what it comes down to is that flag, the red, white, and blue,” David said.
While on Facebook, David stumbled upon and reached out to a new group called ‘Flag Poles Honoring Our Veterans,’ where bikers from organizations like Patriot Guard Riders, Downed Bikers Association, and Ride Oklahoma Charities come together and install donated flags, poles, cement, and free labor for veterans as a tribute for the gift they gave us.
“It just helps your heart to know you’re giving. And that’s what the world should be about.” Jana Walton nominated the founders of ‘Flag Poles Honoring Our Veterans,’ Kevin and Ginger Blake, for a Pay It 4Ward award.
Jana’s favorite veteran, her father, Airman First Class Dean Webb, also received a flagpole, installed by Kevin, Ginger, and about 75 big-hearted bikers, who call themselves “The Red, White, and Blue Crew.”
Jana’s dad got to plant the first shovel for Dean’s first flagpole in all of his 88 years.
“They’re just very giving, they do ramps for veterans, they go out and fix leaks, just whatever anybody needs, Kevin and Ginger are there,” Jana said.
The couple and their leather-clad crew were at David’s house installing his free flagpole when Jana, News 4, and First Fidelity Bank surprised the couple with the $400 Pay It 4Ward award.
“This is very special to a lot of people. So, thank you for what y’all are doing. There ya go,” Jana said as she handed over the money.
With smiles on their faces, the bikers broke out into applause as hugs were exchanged. “Thank you, Jana, and thank all of you people! Y’all make it happen!” Kevin said, looking at the group. “It puts a huge smile inside me, I mean it touches me deeply to touch these [veterans] like this. It’s a good feeling.”
“We’re down to our last flagpole so you talk about perfect timing,” Ginger said. “They served us so we need to honor them.”
“Alright, you ready? Yeah, here we go!” Kevin said.
And with that, it was time to fly David’s flag for the first time. And what better gift than to raise the red, white, and blue for a veteran who rose to fight for those colors.
“I can’t even describe the words, it’s overwhelming, it’s beautiful,” David said. “That will fly until the day that I die.”
If you would like to donate a flagpole, cement, or volunteer your time, or to request a flagpole, please email email@example.com.
Nominate someone for Pay it 4Ward!
Pay It 4Ward is a program through which KFOR-TV viewers can help someone they know who could use extra cash immediately.
Each week someone will receive $400 cash because one of their friends or co-workers wants to “Pay It 4Ward.”
When nominating, make sure to include your name, daytime phone number, who you nominate and why. Please follow all the criteria when nominating.
Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.