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Local veteran replaces worn-out American flags for Mid-Michigan communities

‘When I retire that flag, it means something’
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 5:45 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A local veteran is trying to make a difference in his community, one American flag at a time.

Shane Shaltry is a 12-year military veteran and he is finding a new purpose in life following his time in service. He served in the Air Force Reserve and the International Guard and returned home in 2019. Trying to find what makes him happy, he thought of the idea to replace old worn-out American flags.

“It’s hard to find a purpose that matches training for nuclear war,” said Shaltry. “They get torn, they get tattered, they get faded, and there comes a point where an American flag needs to be retired and it needs to be retired properly.”

Related: Help us celebrate Veterans Day by sharing pictures of your veteran

A big part of Shaltry’s military career was helping with funeral services and ceremonies for fallen heroes. He took care of the American flag then and continues to do it today.

“When I retire that flag, it means something,” Shaltry said. “Just like it did every time I folded a flag for a military funeral.”

The flags are almost as unique as Shaltry’s idea. They are sourced from the Ionia County Correctional Facility. It will cost customers $50 for a flag, but Shaltry makes his living off of customer tips.

“It provides them with needed work because they offer that service and it provides me with a way of locally sourcing those flags,” Shaltry said. It just couldn’t be more perfect.”

Next year, Shaltry will take all of the replaced flags and officially retire them in a proper flag burning. Shaltry is just getting his idea off the ground. This was his first-week replacing flags in his community. If you are looking to get a flag, you can contact Shaltry on the United States Flag Force’s official Facebook page here.

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