WWII veteran gets help from Georgia community to retire worn American flag

A Georgia community came together Saturday to help a 90-year-old World War II veteran give his worn American and Naval flags a proper sendoff.

Local Boy Scouts, including Eagle Scouts, in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell performed the proper ceremony to take down and retire the flags belonging to Frank Coleman, who enlisted in the Navy in 1944 during World War II.

Coleman later became an aviator, serving in the Vietnam War as a squadron commander.

"I'm very honored," Coleman told FOX 5 Atlanta.

Georgia Veteran 1

Retired naval aviator Frank Coleman was honored to have assistance from the scouts retiring his flags.  (FOX 5 Atlanta)

Maurice Hilliard, a long-time friend of Coleman, had previously given him new flags to replace the old ones hanging on a flag pole, but the veteran wanted to wait for the proper ceremony to take place to retire the well-worn Stars and Stripes.

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"He said you can’t just take them down and throw it away," Hilliard said.

That gave the scouts, who are trained to help others properly retire a flag, a chance to meet the 90-year-old veteran who was also an Eagle Scout in 1942.

Georgia Veteran 2

Retired naval aviator Frank Coleman was honored to have assistance from the scouts retiring his flags.  (FOX 5 Atlanta)

"It's a great honor to meet him," Eagle Scout Link Loeffler told FOX 5. "This is my first time doing [a flag ceremony] for a veteran."

For Coleman, the ceremony was a way to see the youth carry on a long-standing tradition.

"It's breathtaking, it really is," he said.