COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Fields of green grass in the College Station Cemetery and the Aggie Field of Honor & Memorial Cemetery turn to red, white and blue as thousands of American flags wave in the wind, punctured into the ground where Veterans were laid to rest.
It’s not usually a colorful patriotic sea though, there’s an army of folks who place the flags there each year for Veterans and Memorial Day.
Usually, Col. Henry Hill is seen out in the Brazos Valley community wearing his military uniform, spreading the history of our country.
“We know it's not being taught in public schools today, as it was in earlier days,” Hill began. “Then we'd go out and do that so that we can tell the youngsters that is why we are [at their schools].”
But when you’re retired, and it’s around 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, and the only thing on your agenda for the day is to talk with KRHD News, your outfit looks a bit different.
“No, I did not put on a uniform this morning,” Hill said while laughing.
As Secretary for the Brazos Valley chapter of the Sojourners, a group of master masons with military backgrounds, he said supporting our troops both past and present is important.
“We do it because we love our country,” he said. “We call it ‘pushing patriotism.’”
Hill and his battle buddies not only spread the love for the U.S.A. but they also keep a decades-long tradition going by placing flags at the right shoulder, if it’s a headstone, and at the northwest corner, if it’s a footstone, of a veteran’s grave.
“It's important that we support our people who served in the military and show that we honor them because in the past that's not always been the case," said Larry Potts, the commander of a Sojourner's subgroup called the Heroes of ‘76.
For most, like Hill, the tradition is personal.
“We’ve known them, before they asked,” he started while holding back tears. “We have known them, both in the service and out of the service, and they were [our] friends.”
It’s for that reason why Hill said until it’s his time for a flag, he’ll continue to honor our vets with this small act of patriotism.
“The answer is yes,” he said when asked if he’ll continue placing the flags until he can’t anymore. “As long as I can do it, I’ll do it.”