MOUNT VERNON — As he accepted the 2011 Spirit of Patriotism Award from the Mount Vernon/Knox County Exchange Club, Maj. Patrick Rhoton (Ret.) recalled his thoughts after a year and a half in Morocco, where he was stationed during the Vietnam era.
The military personnel at the base could not wear uniforms off base and the American flag could not be displayed.
“I had gone a year and half without seeing ‘Old Glory,’” he said. “I remember flying home and the first thing I saw when I landed was a big old ‘Old Glory’ flag. I cried when I saw it.”
Each year, the Exchange Club honors businesses and residents that promote patriotism and fly the flag in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code. One residence and one business from those nominated are then selected to receive the “Proudly We Hail” Award.