Wednesday, December 12, 2012

188th Fighter Wing Donates Flag to Arkansas Alumni Association

By Arkansas Alumni Association's Blog
December 11, 2012

From left to right: Executive Director of the Arkansas Alumni Association, Graham Stewart, 188th Airman Capt. BJ Ginger and 188th Airman Lt. Col. John Easley.

In an effort to strengthen relations between the University of Arkansas and alumni veterans, the Arkansas Alumni Association became the permanent home for an Arkansas Razorback flag flown by the 188th Fighter Wing while in Bagram, Afghanistan.

Based out of Fort Smith, the 188th believed it suitable for the Alumni Association to receive the tattered flag. Facing dangerous winds, Capt. BJ Ginger states, "If that flag could talk, it has seen a lot of rocket and mortar attacks against the base, many of which landed close to where we worked."

Referred to as "The Flying Razorbacks," the 188th display their Razorback pride on aircraft, patches and of course, by flying a Razorback flag. "The flag represented something very special to our unit members while they were deployed. It reminded them of home during some trying times," said Major Heath Allen.

When discussions arose regarding the flag and its permanent home, Allen met with Lieutenant Colonel John Easley, saying, "It was his idea that the flag be presented to the Alumni House. We both feel that we need to improve the lines of communication between our alumni veterans and the University of Arkansas."

Bearing its cardinal red color, the Razorback remains intact while its edges show wear from the elements of war. Although it may be worn and rough around the edges, the Razorback emits pride and honor among the men and women of 188th, as well as all U of A alumni veterans.


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