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Flags for Vets crew surprise Boise man

Posted: 6:02 PM, Jul 01, 2017
Updated: 2017-07-02 00:10:14Z

On this holiday weekend, patriotism is at the top of people's minds and U.S. flags are flying high - especially at two Treasure Valley man's homes.

The veterans were honored with quite the surprise Saturday.

Thinking his family and neighbors were invited to brunch ahead of his 4th of July birthday, Boise resident Jim Delaney soon found out he had been nominated to be a Flags for Vets recipient.

"It was a shock, it brought tears to my eyes," he said. "It's amazing, feels good."

It was an Alabama man who founded the non-profit Flags for Vets. He is currently in the process of branching out and creating chapters across the nation.

On this installation, his 85th since the beginning of the year, Jamie Popwell is in Boise honoring a Vietnam veteran.

"Some gave all, but all gave some," said Jamie Popwell, who founded the non-profit and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. "And, Jim is one of those kind of people."

Free of charge, Popwell and his fellow veteran from Alabama travel around giving vets a flag, pole and solar light - the complete package. It's their way of saying thanks.

Also, it's Popwell's way of putting a positive spin on recent flag stompings and burnings recorded on video across the country.

"You can always make that argument that.. yes, we fought for their right to do that but it still doesn't make it right," he said. "So, for me that was my way of countering all the negative [surrounding the U.S. Flag]."

Delaney was diagnosed with cancer last year in connection with agent orange used in Vietnam. The Army veteran stands proudly by his new flag on display for all to see. He says to him it represents everyone who has ever signed up to protect their country.

"We're not here just to serve the military, we're here to serve our country. And, to me, it's an honor," Delaney said. "I may not have come home a hero but I still served my country and I love my country."

The other Flags for Vets recipient lives in Emmett.

For more information on how to make a donation, visit http://donateflagsforvets.com . Nominations can be sent via e-mail to jamie@flagsforvets.us.