Storied Flag Will Fly Again

Allen Hoe
Allen Hoe

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS (KHNL) --  Over a hundred Hawaii based soldiers will soon ship out to Iraq.

Taking with them the newest high tech equipment in their fight against terror. But they will also carry with them something special that is quite old and just cannot be replaced.

It's a faded old American flag.

"That flag I've had with me since 1967," said Army soldier, Allen Hoe.

It was proudly flown by Hoe and his fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War and kept in the years that followed to remember those who died.

"Our team made the promise that we would keep the flag until our Lieutenant's remains were recovered," added Hoe.

Those remains were finally recovered in 2006.

Over the years, the platoon battle flag has been around the world.

Flying over fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetary, flying with the Blue angels, even taken into North Korea.

The flag has also been passed to other soldiers heading into combat. Including Allen's son, Nainoa, who took the flag with him when his battalion deployed to Iraq.

"He was carrying the flag with him when he was killed in January of 2005," said Hoe.

On this day, Allen is once again passing out the flag and all its history to the Stryker Brigade Combat Team as the soldiers prepare for battle. But he also sends it out with a simple request.

"On January 22nd of 2008 on the third anniversary of when my son died, that this flag be flown in Iraq."

To show, the spirit of fallen soldiers lives on.

Nainoa is remembered by his deeds and his dad.  Who still wears his son's army boots for special occasions like this.

And for those who follow in this old soldier's footsteps, they learn about dedication and service but especially sacrifice, symbolized by this old flag.

"It reinforces how important it is to honor and respect and appreciate what these soldiers are doing for you and I," added Hoe.