The flagpole outside Wingate of Wilbraham was knocked down over the winter, but the Massachusetts assisted living and rehab facility was not without a patriotic display this Memorial Day.
Army Specialist Darren Swallow took it upon himself to stand outside the nursing home holding a flag as a tribute to those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice. The veteran, who is disabled following multiple tours in Iraq, told local news that he arrived at Wingate at around 3:30 A.M. He stayed there holding the flag until 1:00 P.M.
“My girlfriend told me yesterday the flagpole behind us was taken down either during a storm or from a plow truck, so I thought I’d come down and honor our veterans, and let them know they have not been forgotten,” Swallow said.
Anara Dupont, Swallow’s girlfriend, said, “He was very passionate about it when I told him we didn’t have a flag here, he is an angel, he is, he really is one of the best people I’ve ever met in my whole life.”
To others, this gesture was inspirational, a moment in time to show their children.
“Absolutely inspired, we came here just to thank him for his service,” said Chris White. “It’s phenomenal that he’s standing out here for the residents and for our country.”