Flag donation

Members of the Tennessee Valley Veteran's Benefit donated a $500 check to the Ringgold Veterans Memorial Flag Group on Saturday, Feb. 10, to help with group's effort in funding the city's bi-annual "Festival of Flags" celebration. From left: Tennessee Valley Veteran's Benefit members, Jim Nation, Randall Johnson, Gary Reeves, and Eric Krajesky, Ringgold Veterans Memorial Flag Group volunteers Gilbert Childers, Mason Ingle, Tommy Hayes, Jan Swallows, Charlotte Edwards, Bill Rhinehart, Pete Pedigo, and Bill Harvey. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)

Veterans took care of other veterans recently when a Tennessee-based organization donated $500 to a volunteer group that raises veteran's flags throughout Ringgold each year.

One of the most beloved traditions in the city of Ringgold is its bi-annual "Festival of Flags" celebration, an event that honors deceased military veterans from Catoosa County by proudly flying an American flag in their honor in addition to a wooden cross donning their name.

Locals and tourists alike drive through Ringgold to see the flags during the two weeks that surround Memorial and Veteran's Days, but the event couldn't be as successful as it has become without the Ringgold Veterans Memorial Flag Group that plans, erects, and takes down the flags during each celebration.

Tennessee Valley Veteran's Benefit recognized that hard work on Saturday, Feb. 10, when the organization presented the group with a $500 check to help future funding.

"The group is not in a bind for funds, but we do have ongoing expenses such as new crosses, refurbishing crosses, replacing about 10 percent of the flags each year, and buying paint and weed killer," explained volunteer Gilbert Childers. "We do enjoy very good support from local businesses and individuals."

The "Festival of Flags" is a project that was spearheaded by long-time former Ringgold mayor Joe Barger. Last year the flag count was up over 1,500.

Anyone with interest in donating to or volunteering for the group can contact Gilbert Childers at 865-300-7057, or Joe Barger at 706-935-2019.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.