Jaudon annually organizes effort to honor veterans
Vietnam veteran Starke Jaudon embarks on his 15th year of organizing the placing of the American flags on marked veteran’s graves for Memorial Day.
Each year Jaudon, along with volunteers from the VFW and around a dozen JROTC cadets, place American flags on the grave sites of marked veterans the Monday before Memorial Day and remove them the Monday after Memorial Day, leaving the flags up in honor of veterans who lost their lives in combat for two full weeks.
Jaudon served three years in the Army, including one year in Vietnam in the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
Sensitive to the subject, Jaudon says the cause is something that “means a lot to him” and that he usually doesn’t talk much about it.
The VFW of Elberton places flags at Elmhurst, Forest Hill, Lincoln Heights and Fortsonia Community cemeteries in Elberton, and Hillcrest Cemetery in Bowman.
They also give flags to churches in the county to place the flags on the graves in the church’s cemetery.
According to JROTC Instructors Major Ed Loving and MSG Al Homer, there are around 500 veterans buried in Elmhurst Cemetery alone.
On Memorial Day, Jaudon can be found handing out the story of the “Buddy” Poppy with other VFW volunteers at Walmart and Tractor Supply.
In addition to the placing of the American flags and the handing out the VFW “Buddy” Poppy, the Elberton VFW and Auxiliary of Post 5456 will honor Memorial Day by holding a program on Monday, May 29 at 7 p.m.
All of the public and VFW members are invited to attend.
Donna Dixon, VFW Post 5456 Chaplain, asks that everyone who display the American flag to lower the flag to half-staff from sunrise to noon on Memorial Day, “to pay respect for our fallen comrades.”
Jaudon and Dixon both would like to remind everyone that the VFW has a flag disposal bin located at the front corner of the post home, if anyone needs to dispose of a faded or torn flag.