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6,000 Flags a Visual Reminder of Middletown Church’s Veteran Observance

The unrelenting stress of never knowing whether you’ll live another day. For those who survive wartime, the deep and often hidden scars that can last a lifetime. The tension that military families have in common.

Field of Flags, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Middletown (Rick Holbert)
Field of Flags, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Middletown (Rick Holbert)

Tomorrow, military veterans translate the circumstances they’ve lived at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Middletown.

The annual Service of Remembrance for the fallen and wounded, which starts at 1 PM in the church on Tindall Road, features members of the Army and Marines who aim to shed light on what it means to serve and protect.

Church elder Rick Holbert says the service is part of the congregation’s Field of Flags tribute. An American flag representing each life lost in defense of American ideals since the invasion of Iraq began is planted on their front lawn. This year, there are 6,000.

Marine Major John F. Campbell, a  wounded veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, delivers the keyone. He serves as Commanding Officer of the USMC Recruiting Station New Jersey.

Retired Army Sergeant Scott Young served in Iraq and Kosovo. He’ll discuss post traumatic stress disorder and the inner struggle that military members face in coping with it day to day.

Retired Marine Sergeant Major Gregory Vascimini was deployed during Operation Desert Storm and served several tours in Afghanistan. His comments concern the fears of loved ones at home while a citizen soldier is at war.

The service also pays tribute to New Jersey’s Gold Star families, who have lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s open to everyone who wishes to take part, and it’s followed with a reception in Harlan Hall.

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