Senior Business Administration major and Air Force reservist Caleb Webster presented Malone with a flag that was flown over an aircraft. This is an honor Webster wanted to present to the university.
“Caleb connected with me and asked to meet with me,” University Chaplain Randy Heckert said.
The flag presented was flown on a C-17 during a cargo mission from Incirlik Airbase in Turkey to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Webster said the flag flew outside the jet during landing.
Webster was deployed to Turkey in the fall of 2010 and missed a semester of school. He also flew on a couple of missions to Iraq and Afghanistan. The mission was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
He is no longer in active duty but is now in the Reserve.
“To my knowledge the custom of presenting combat flags to supportive individuals or institutions doesn’t have a formal name,” Webster said. “It is simply a widespread and enduring tradition.”
Webster said that this was his way of saying “thank you” to the university for working with him after his return from active duty.
Heckert mentioned where the flag will be flown.
“It will replace the one [American flag] in the flag collage in the Barn,” he said. “It is an honor to Malone, but [the flag also flies] for the veterans.”
Hannah Finley is the 2012-13 feature editor for The Aviso AVW.