Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams presented a group of local veterans, including representatives of the United War Veterans Council, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Marine Corps League, and student veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, with a battle-scarred Brooklyn flag carried into the Persian Gulf War, as part of a ceremony honoring the veteran community. The group will march with this flag down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan during America’s Parade, produced by the United War Veterans Council, on Veterans Day, taking place on Tuesday, November 11th.
“The spirit of One Brooklyn, along with the support and solidarity of its residents, was carried into battle through the flag that now stands proudly in Brooklyn Borough Hall as a tribute to the bravery of those men and women who brought it safely home,” said Borough President Adams. “Now, it will once more be carried into service, this time by veterans who have bravely served our nation and are justly honored for their service and their sacrifice. I am honored to take part in this small gesture of our borough’s everlasting appreciation for our veteran community, and I am committed to using my role as Borough President to advance their general welfare with the support and resources they deserve.”
The flag was given by then-Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden in 1990 to the 102 Maintenance Company, 244th Nation Guard Division when the unit was assigned to the Persian Gulf in Operation Desert Storm. It was scorched by burning fragments from an enemy Scud missile, which was shot down by a U.S. Patriot missile during an attack near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The flag was returned to Brooklyn at homecoming ceremonies for the 102nd Maintenance Company on September 15th, 1991.
“I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and went onto serve in the US Army in Vietnam War,” said Patrick Gualtieri, executive director of the United War Veterans Council. “I am honored to be here today with Borough President Adams, and those proud veterans joining us who represent the more than 52,000 Brooklyn veterans from all eras living in our great borough. As the executive director of the United War Veterans Council, producers of the now-televised America’s Parade – Veterans Day, NYC on November 11th – I assure you that this flag will be respected and featured during the parade.”
“As a proud Marine, OIF veteran, and as someone who grew up in Brooklyn, I am truly honored to participate in the flag ceremony with Borough President Adams and the distinguished veterans groups listed,” said Sergeant Shamar Thomas, U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). “Like this flag, our nations’ veterans and their families wear the scars of war, prompting us to never forget. As we walk down 5th avenue for the Veterans Day Parade, we must never forget those who have come before us, who have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that freedom persists. Semper Fi.”