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American Flag recovered by Vietnam Veterans Gets Place of Honor at County Building

(Sewell, NJ) – An American Flag that was recovered and saved by Vietnam Veteran Alvin E. Handt from a Brown Water Navy Boat in the Mekong Delta shortly before it went down in July 1968 has been placed in a flag display case at the Gloucester County Office of Veterans Affairs. 

Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Bill Krebs were joined by Alvin Handt of West Deptford Township, his family and many leaders of the veterans’ community today to dedicate the display of this special American Flag.

“Mr. Handt recovered and saved this flag from a boat that was part of the US Navy River Assault Division 914 shortly before it went down in 1968,” said Freeholder Director Sweeney.  “He had held on to this flag until last year when he quietly presented it to me just prior to the county’s Military Medal Ceremony.  I was extremely humbled by Mr. Handt and his gesture and wished to honor him and the American Flag that he rescued by placing it in a place fitting for display,” Director Sweeney stated. 

Sweeney said, “We are grateful to Mr. Handt for sharing this important part of Mr. Handt’s history and of our nation’s history with the citizens of Gloucester County.  As a Freeholder I have had the opportunity to witness so many of our veterans keep giving of themselves to their community and it is always touching and inspiring, as is this giving act by Mr. Handt.”

Freeholder Bill Krebs remarked that the recovered American Flag is a meaningful example of the country’s men and women who have served and are serving so bravely in our armed forces. 

“This Flag will serve as a reminder to those of us who are not veterans or who did not serve in the military that war is not without sacrifice, and that we are blessed to have men and women who so strongly believe in Democracy and the United States that they would give the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” Freeholder Krebs said. 

“We recognize that and we appreciate that Mr. Handt’s gesture is a gesture from all of our veterans and those who are serving.  We are honored to have so many members of the veteran’s community here today to celebrate this Flag Display dedication,” Krebs said.