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Craig Joint Theater Hospital hangs new flag over 'Warrior's Way'

  • Published
  • By By Senior Airman Rito Smith
  • 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

On Veterans Day, Col. Robert York, commander of the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group at Bagram, led a group of Airmen in a ceremony to remove and replace the large flag that hangs at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital Nov. 11.


The flag was specially commissioned for the Craig Joint Theater Hospital’s ‘Warrior’s Way’ entrance and was sent to the Pentagon to be blessed by the chief of chaplains before being transported to Afghanistan.


“This flag in 'Warrior’s Way' is not only a pinnacle highlight of our facility, but it’s a powerful symbol to the injured Americans, Coalition and Afghan partners,” York said. “When they are brought here on litters and see the flag hanging above them, they know they are safe.”


Before unveiling the flag, the base honor guard performed the presentation of colors, and Airmen from the 455th EMDG marched in and lined up in order to remove the previous flag.


“The old flag was first hung on July 4, 2014,” York said. “During its time the flag has witnessed 1863 trauma nine lines, 4,153 hospital admissions, and during the last rotation achieved a 99 percent survival rate.”


In order to remove the flag hanging from the ceiling, multiple ladders were strategically placed with two Airmen operating at each point.


One Airmen at each post held the ladder while the others climbed up and removed the flag. Once the flag was down, the Airmen ceremoniously folded the flag while the master of ceremonies explained the significance of the American flag.


The folded flag was presented to York, who saluted the flag before the ceremony concluded.


The previous flag will be transported to the U.S. to be flown at the Pentagon and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, before being officially retired.