(Essex) -- Over the years, Larry Eckhardt has demonstrated his support for servicemen and women. Now, some Page County residents are returning support in his time of need.
Eckhardt, the Illinois resident known as "the Flag Man," receives a new trailer in a special presentation outside Essex's K-12 building Friday morning at 9. Dawn Hadden is founder of Veterans United of Southwest Iowa. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Routine" program, Hadden says Eckhardt's American flags have appeared at not only Essex's annual "Loops For Our Troops" event, but at others honoring veterans and first responders all over KMAland.
"He provides flags for fallen soldiers, or fallen first responders," said Hadden, "and they line the funeral processions with tons of flags--which is quite a sight to see. In July, he ended up having an accident, and a tire blew out on his van. He totaled his trailer. They raised enough money to replace the van, but not the trailer, itself."
Thanks to fundraising campaigns and donations from local residents, Hadden says money was released to purchase a new trailer for Eckhardt to haul his flags in.
"We got the trailer," she said. "The funds were raised within two weeks. The community is amazing--I can't even express how awesome our community is, when it comes to supporting our veterans in the area. Larry goes out all over 14 states supporting these guys. It just blows my mind how the community comes together to help everybody."
The trailer presentation takes place about an hour before the Essex School District's annual Veteran's Day program, beginning at 10 Friday morning.