GALVESTON, Texas - A very patriotic Marine veteran heard the American flag was no longer flying outside a local military flight museum, so he stepped up to get the Stars and Stripes in the air again.
The clanging of an empty flagpole outside the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston tells Rick Drosche, something is wrong there.
"They said our flag poles are broken, I said what?" said Drosche.
The poles were damaged in Hurricane Ike and suffered a final blow during another storm last year.
The museum couldn't afford the repairs and didn't hoist a flag for 18 months, but that changed Friday afternoon.
"I'm gonna be one of those people that's always going to keep that flag flying wherever I can," Drosche said.
He's a Marine Vietnam veteran, who gives flags to anyone who will donate to a veterans group and on Friday he paid to have the poles fixed, at a discounted rate.
He also offered the museum six flags.
"That'll last you a while, if you need more, you let me know," said Drosche. Museum President Larry Gregory answered, "Thank you very much. We appreciate your patriotism and helping us out."Then came the payoff.
As the American flag lifted into the air, Drosche and two more veterans visiting the museum stopped to salute.
Suddenly they were three young men on a base, the Marines they never stopped being.
"Nobody has ever relieved me of that oath I took," said John.
He and Larry were bunkmates in their platoon, and on Friday they found another brother in Rick.
"Anybody that's ever gone through boot camp and worn the uniform, we're brothers. For life," said Larry.
Bonded by experience, good and bad, and by a pride and a history…woven into the flag's lines and into our lives.
"What that made me think of instantly was the flag going up on Iwo Jima, it gives me chills now," said Drosche.
"It's hard to explain the feeling, the joy, you get that the flag is flying."
The American and Texas flags are now proudly flying outside the Lone Star Flight Museum, located right next to Scholes International Airport at Galveston.
The museum will be moving to a new location at Ellington Airport in the spring of next year.