An army specialist goes above and beyond his patriotic duty to honor the veterans in his small town community.
Darren Swallow was a decorated member of the military. After sustaining an injury during one of his many deployments to Iraq, the soldier was honorably discharged. That wouldn’t stop the young man from fulfilling his patriotic duty.
After chatting about their days, Darren’s girlfriend, Anara Dupont, told Darren a story that stuck with him.
“He was very passionate about it when I told him we didn’t have a flag here,” Anara said. “He is an angel, he is, he really is one of the best people I’ve ever met in my whole life.”
Anara was a caretaker at Windgate, the local nursing home in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. She mentioned the fact as a point in casual conversation. The army specialist took it as something far more important.
With Memorial Day soon approaching, Darren found a way to honor the veterans who served or even died for their country. The man realized many residents of the nursing home were actually former soldiers, not to mention the employees or their family members.
He wanted anyone looking out the window to be reminded of past veterans’ valiant sacrifice in service.
“My girlfriend told me yesterday…so I thought I’d come down and honor our veterans, and let them know they have not been forgotten,” Darren stated.
Just like that, the disabled army man became a human flagpole, proudly displaying the red, white, and blue banner. Darren didn’t move from his post for nearly 10 hours in the chilling rain. From 3:30 am to 1:00 pm, the man paid tribute to all living and fallen American veterans.
Taking a quick break for food and water, Darren made a point to shake the hands of veterans living at Windgate.
The heartfelt moment instantly attracted newsworthy recognition and members of the community. One elderly nursing home resident, Chris White, said it best.
“Absolutely inspired. We came here just to thank him for his service,” Christ said. “It’s phenomenal that he’s standing out here for the residents and for our country.”
Watch Darren gladly serve a ten hour shift as the stand-in flagpole for Massachusetts residents in the clip below.