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Military vets present POW/MIA flag to university

Military veterans at Black Hills State University presented a POW/MIA flag to the university Nov. 6 during halftime of the men's basketball game.

Dr. Larry Tentinger, assistant professor of physical education, and several other veterans were responsible for the flag presentation to President Tom Flickema and athletic director Dave Little.

The 5- by 8-foot flag is given in recognition of Veteran's Day. The flag was purchased by John Hazucha, a Vietnam veteran, and donated to BHSU.

A citation read at the ceremony said, “The flag symbolizes those who suffered, but were not defeated as well as those who are lost, but not forgotten. As a tribute to all who have served in the military, this flag represents the stark reality of war in the same way our national flag represents the freedom we so cherish. Displayed together in one common area, a sense of completeness is established for the fighting men and women who have paid the `price for freedom.'”

All active duty, reserve, and veterans in attendance were recognized. Dedication remarks were given by Lt. Col. Ralph Borkowski, Operations Officer 109th Engineering Group. BHSU President Thomas Flickema accepted the flag and thanked those responsible.

Participating in the ceremony were representatives from the university's ROTC program, Sturgis high school ROTC program, members of the 842nd Engineering Company of the South Dakota National Guard,

representatives from Ellsworth Air Force Base, and members of the local American Legion and VFW organizations.

Receiving a POW/MIA flag during halftime ceremonies at men's basketball game were, left, Captain Harold Stewart, officer in charge of BHSU ROTC; Dave Little, BHSU athletic director; 1st Lt. Patrick Haley, 842nd Engineer Company; and Dr James Hesson, BHSU professor of physical education and health. The POW/MIA flag was given in recognition of Veteran's Day and will be on permanent display at the Young Center. Other BHSU veterans participating in the ceremony were Dr. Larry Tentinger, assistant professor of physical education and health; Patrick Lewellen, student; Sam DeCory, alumnus; and Ron Schuttler, former BHSU alumni association president.

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