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The Daily Flag News—May 16, 2007

Air Force F-16s in flight are awesome. I’m not so sure about spending ten days in Alaska (I live at 29.5 degrees north) but flying every day in combat training exercises might overcome the feeling of cold. Looking at the snow on the ground below the plane brings a chill to my bones, but I’m glad these folks are staying sharp.

F-16 flies at Red Flag-Alaska with Edwards-tested upgrades
f-16-in-flight.jpgEDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Edwards pilots and flight test engineers recently returned from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, where they had the opportunity to participate in Red Flag-Alaska — a 10-day air combat training exercise.

Red Flag-Alaska featured Eielson F-16’s with new M4.1 software tested at Edwards in 2005.

“It was an opportunity for our flight test engineers to gain exposure in how the F-16 operates in a combat environment and the pilots’ opportunity for some excellent air-to-air training as well as evaluate how the ‘new’ F-16 is performing,” said Capt. Ryan Sweazey, chief of weapons and training for the 416th Fight Test Squadron here.

Edwards pilots and flight test engineers participated as augmentees to the 18th Fighter Squadron in the exercise, Captain Sweazey said. It was a unique opportunity because it was Eielson’s first chance to employ the newest version of the F-16 in a large force exercise environment.

There’s one thing about this story I don’t understand. Why would all these Texans end up at the University of Chicago? Don’t get me wrong—all the people I’ve met from Chicago are terrific, and they got to Texas as fast as they could. But I don’t think I could handle having Texas BBQ one day each year. That’s just cruel.

Chicago Maroon » Everything’s bigger at Texas Club BBQ
chicago-maroon-online-logo.jpgThe scene was styled after the Lone Star State, with the brisket and sausage adequately messy and served by the pile. Club members manned the grills in cowboy hats with a Texas flag displayed behind them.

Inquiring whether this was the Republican Club, one student was quickly corrected: “No. It’s the Texas Club.” Put at ease, the student proceeded to down four sausages. According to its website, the Texas Club has one simple mission: “To think about Texas and do things kind of related to Texas and have fun while thinking and doing these things.”

A flag retirement story that isn’t about Boy Scout. This Elk club collects and retires flags every year in South New Jersey. If you need someone to take your tired flags, these guys should be easy to locate.

Flag retirement service held by Elks in Trenton – Gloucester Co. Times Updates
sdnj-elks.jpgTRENTON–The Southwest District New Jersey Elks recently held their annual American Flag Retirement at Trenton Lodge.

After the ceremony, all worn flags are properly taken out of service.

Pictured, from left, are Bob Ranken, Exalted Ruler from Mt. Holly Lodge, Lou Eggert, ER from Trenton Lodge, Manny Butera, ER from Hamilton Lodge, Ed Beideman, District National Veteran’s Service Chairman and Ed Morrison, ER from Deptford Lodge and State Chairman for Americanism.

Anyone having worn American flags may take them to any local Elks Lodge and they will be properly taken out of service.

This township near Philadelphia is trying to locate some of its military family. They have a special method of honoring their service people. They display the military flag for each service member and replace it with the American flag upon return. Great job!

Township seeks information on soldiers ( | Intelligencer
the-intelligencer-logo.jpgFor four years, the township has honored its active duty soldiers by placing a military flag in the display. Upon the safe return of each soldier, a ceremony to replace the military flag with an American flag is held in front of the supervisors.

“Most of them let me know that they’re back or we find out in one fashion or another that they’re home,” Palestina said. “These I’ve heard nothing about.”

The nine soldiers who Palestina is trying to locate:

* U.S. Marine Maj. Michael Sean Bodkin;
* Navy Ensign Kelly Finn;
* U.S. Marine Cpl. Joel Hight;
* Air Force Capt. Andrew Hunt;
* Army Sgt. Thomas McKenna;
* Air Force Staff Sgt. Shawn Meyer;
* Air Force Capt. Michael Mondeaux;
* U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Sam Morton; and
* Army Capt. Eric Sproesser.

All ranks listed are the last known to the township, Palestina said.

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