Who gets the flag????

This is a discussion on Who gets the flag???? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My father passed away early Monday morning. LTC Gordon Wilson was laid to rest yesterday with full Military Honors. He was 70 years old and ...

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Thread: Who gets the flag????

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    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    Who gets the flag????

    My father passed away early Monday morning. LTC Gordon Wilson was laid to rest yesterday with full Military Honors. He was 70 years old and served for over 29 years. He lost his year and half battle with MDS. I know he is not pain free and in a much better place.

    I know some people view this as petty, When your sitting in the front row and it's your loved one being honored. It's pretty powerful. I am his only son, but being neither current of former military myself, nor the eldest child, I'm pretty far down the list. I have no problem with that. I do have all his previous rank insignia, and his MP arm bands. Yesterday I did receive one of the spent shell casings that were presented by the honor guard. Three were presented and inserted into the flag that was presented also.

    My question for the military members on this forum. If the spouse of the honored soldier is not the Mother of that solders children, does the flag not go to the eldest child? My oldest Sister told me that Daddy said proper protocol was just that. I have searched and found several sites that give the order or who should receive the flag. Everything I have found says surviving spouse is first, but does not address anything about the relationship of the spouse to the children.

    I always though it was his surviving spouse. Does anyone know if this is true? Or maybe an unwritten guideline or maybe he was just mistaken.

    Thanks in advance.

    Mike
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Spouse,oldest child in your case . However in the case of younger soldiers it would go to a parent. If there was no spouse.
    The text book test question answer is simple.( promotion board question)
    The beneficiary I know that can be confusing see fist line to sort it out.

    The Flag is provided by Post master General. However The local VFW and or legion often provided flags for other family members and to cover caskets.
    The SG Major is the expert on regs dealing with the death of a soldier.

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    Sorry to hear of your Father.

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    Sorry for what you're going thru. Lesson for everyone, let your wishes be known beforehand, especially if you know it's coming soon. I would leave it alone until after an appropriate amount of time, then your sister should talk with your step-mother about ensuring receiving the flag when she passes.

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    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    Very sorry to hear about your father.

    Understand these are policies that are written to cover a broad range of possibilities, so the miltary tends to do some things very simply Surviving spouse means just that, the surviving spouse, with no effort on the government's part to sort through the relationship of any others beyond that.
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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your father.
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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    it goes to his present wife (mothered children or not) and if she is not alive then to the oldest child


    Edit: if it is a son or daughter that passes it goes to the mother or the father
    Last edited by barstoolguru; September 7th, 2012 at 11:08 AM. Reason: add on
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    Member Array Lindy1933's Avatar
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    Sorry bout that
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    Sorry for your loss first of all. I am a licensed funeral director in Texas and have served more military families than I could possibly count. The surviving spouse is senior in all matters of her husband. Next in line are the natural children, oldest to youngest. Whether someone served in the military is inmaterial. Let your step mother go through the greiving process as you will. In time the subject of the flag and who gets what can be approached with a much clearer head. I have had many situations just like this one. I handled it by having a flag draped or folded for visitation (wake), and another for the funeral service and then having both presented at the graveside service. If you have any questions PM me. I will get back to you as soon as I can but I am currently in Afghanistan.
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    Sorry for your loss.
    BigJon


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    Member Array tricolordad's Avatar
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    Sorry to tell you man, it goes to the spouse. If you have a glass display case, it would be a good place to display all his military effects. I have my granfather's things on display in my office. I will be adding a few things of my cousins soon (KIA August 2004). It helps keep his memory alive, honors his sacrifices and eases the pain because he's still here in a matter of speaking. Sorry for your loss.

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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    One more time it does not say wife or spouse it says, The beneficiary.
    They may not always be the same person for many reasons in our world. today things are not so cut and dry.

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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty901 View Post
    One more time it does not say wife or spouse it says, The beneficiary.
    They may not always be the same person for many reasons in our world. today things are not so cut and dry.
    You are correct but only in the sense that it is willed to said person. I know of no one that has that in their will OR the will is read before a funnel. During the presentation we can only assume it basically goes to the closest family member by rights

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    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. We have no desire to ask my step mother for the flag. I just wanted to make sure of the proper procedure so we would know. I have sent in a reguest to the honor-guard to see about getting another flag, properly folded for us kids to share. I will also be putting together a shadow box with all his previous rank insignia and his MP arm bands and badge. I loved every promotion he got, because I got some cool new insignia to keep in my collection. LOL

    Thanks again for all the help.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
    If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand

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    Very sorry for your loss.
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