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thedrifter
04-23-06, 05:06 PM
Patriotic gift
Company receieves flag that flew in Iraq

Published Sunday, April 23, 2006

By Don Munsch

Ken Dodson’s company recently received an American flag from a relative of an employee.

But this flag was no ordinary Old Glory. And neither is the story behind this particular stars and stripes.

Clint Brown, son-in-law of Wise County Title Company employee Vickie Cox, gave the flag to Wise County Title Company. Brown is a Marine who served in Iraq, and the flag flew on March 24 at Camp Fallujah. Many service people distribute flags that have flown at Camp Fallujah.

“This is something that we didn’t realize that they did,” Cox said.

Dodson, president of Wise County Title Company, said receiving the flag gave him a patriotic feeling, one that inspires the national anthem to play inside his head.

“Even though it may be a regular thing that they do, it wasn’t something we were ever expecting to have and to know that the flag flew while they were over there serving is just ... I can’t put into words how moving it was,” Dodson said.

The flag provided a way for Brown to recognize those who supported him during his time in Iraq. Julie Schooling, who works at Wise County Title, helped organize sending care packages with goodies and personal items to Brown and his friends. Brown, a Chief Warrant Officer II who served as an anti-terrorism force protection officer, returned a few weeks ago.

“The next thing I know he’s in here, which was not unusual because he came by with his wife and his mother-in-law was here,” Dodson said, recounting the day the flag was presented. “We got several nice letters from him thanking us for the stuff we sent over. His buddies were enjoying (the packages, too). ... Well, anyway, he comes strolling in and said, ‘I’d like to gather everybody up if it’s OK,’ and I said sure. He presented us with this plaque and a certificate that the flag flew over Camp Fallujah on a certain day in honor of Wise County Title Company for the stuff we had sent over there.”

Dodson and Cox said they were astounded by the gift.

“It was beyond words that anybody had,” Dodson said. “Everybody was just dumbfounded.”

“I didn’t even know that he was going to do this,” Cox said.

A special shadow box will hold the flag, certificate and photographs and it will be displayed in the company lobby, Dodson said.

Brown’s wife, Sherrea Cox Brown, 26, is a graduate of Boyd High School. Brown, 30, who is in from Sulphur Springs, is in the 5th Battalion, 14th Marines, and has been in the Marine reserves for 14 years. He and Sherrea have a 1 1/2-year-old daughter, Blair, and live in College Station. Brown works for Texas Engineering Extension Service, a department within Texas A&M University, where he teaches emergency management skills to first responders, incident management and others.

Brown said Wise County Title “supported me and the Marines 100 percent while I was over there” and that he and others appreciated receiving the numerous care packages.

“It was nice to have a continuous stream of support knowing that it was from the entire staff and not just one person,” Brown said. “And it was not solicited – that’s the thing that stood out. They pretty much did it on their own.”

Brown left for Iraq in October and returned home in early April. Cox said he left College Station in June and had to be in California for training for a couple of months before he left.

He’s staying with the Cox family now for another month while he’s doing his debriefing duties in Fort Worth. He will eventually return to College Station.

Cox said the family is not sure whether Brown will return to Iraq, but “as far as we know for right now, no, he won’t be.”

Old Glory has a special meaning for Cox.

“My mother was a big fan of the American flag, and we lost our mom a year ago February,” Cox said. “The flag is definitely a treasure in our family.”

Ellie