Fallen sailor honored with flag ceremony

Posted at 4:49 PM, Sep 12, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:57-04

John Hoagland was the first JROTC Cadet to die while active duty in Shoemaker High School history. 

The American flag was flown at half mast Tuesday at Shoemaker High School in Killeen.

"We knew John, he was a cadet," 1SG (Ret.) Cleveland Zeigler Jr., Hoagland's JROTC instructor, said. 

At Hoagland's family's request, the Navy provided a flag to Hoagland's former JROTC program to fly over the school. 

"It's an honor to be here, to see that the family wanted us to, thought enough of the program and Shoemaker to allow us to be a part of this to honor John," Zeigler added. 

"John embodied the spirit of what we want all good students to do. John was very active in school... every time General Shoemaker and his wife came to the school he actually escorted them around the school," Col. (Ret.) Tom Clady, the Senior Army instructor at Shoemaker High School, said.  

General Shoemaker's wife attended the ceremony, standing as the cadets raised the flag. 

"This one's a great loss not only for our community but for this high school," Clady added.  

"John, just like every soldier that joins the military, the ultimate sacrifice that they give, John gave for his country. So, they can take solace in knowing that he served his country and we honored him today," Zeigler said.  

The flag will be presented at John Hoagland's funeral at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery on Thursday. 

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