Tripler Army Medical Center
HONOLULU — Veterans Day has passed, but for Soldiers of Tripler Army Medical Center, who took part in the flag raising ceremony on that special day, it will be remembered for a lifetime.
Thirteen Soldiers, assigned to various departments throughout TAMC, were tasked to be a part of the flag privilege that was responsible for the care of the colors on Veterans Day.
“It was a proud moment for me,” said Sgt. Prakhat Koirala, medical correspondence supervisor at TAMC. “Holding the flag, that means a lot of things for millions of Americans. It gave me a sense of immense pride and honor. It made me think of the brave souls that have perished to preserve this flag and everything it stands for.”
The Soldiers arrived in full dress uniform at 6 a.m., and prepared to raise the Garrison flag, a 38-foot long by 20-foot high flag, commonly flown on national holidays and on special occasions.
“When I arrived, we formed up and marched to the platform, hoisted the surprisingly heavy Garrison flag and marched away,” said Spc. Cameron Mcallister, a medic assigned to the TAMC Interdisciplinary Pain Management clinic. “Once we were dismissed, I took a step back and looked at the flag we had just hoisted up that pole. Only then did it then strike me how important this privilege really is.”
A flag privilege consists of a group of Soldiers responsible for the raising of the flag in the morning and signifying the start of the duty day, and the lowering of the flag in the evening, marking the end of the duty day.
“There’s a certain amount of pride in knowing that you put the colors up for everyone to see. There is so much more meaning to it, especially on a day like Veterans Day,” said Mcallister. “On Veterans Day, the flag is there to recognize the service and commitment to our Armed Forces service members, past and present, and it was truly an honor to be able to recognize our brothers and sisters in such a way.”
For many Soldiers that day, raising and lowering the flag renewed their pride and love for country, educated them on the importance of what they were honoring and reminded them of the costs that were paid to ensure the freedoms they enjoy.
“Being a part of the Veterans Day flag privilege was just that to me – a privilege,” said Amanda Weyand. “Both of my grandfathers served during World War II, and my father was drafted and did tours in Vietnam. To be a part of that day was important to me for personal reasons as well as for my love of country.”