Larry “The Flagman” Eckhardt is once again seeking local volunteers to help honor a fallen soldier from Appanoose County.
Eckhardt is seeking volunteers to help set out flags along the route between Centerville and Moulton that will be used by the funeral procession of Robert E. Howard when he is laid to rest Saturday, July 19.
Howard, a World War II serviceman who lost his life on April 16, 1945 in a fighter plane crash in Muehlanger, Germany, was finally positively identified and returned home in July.
Any volunteers interested in helping out should come to the Centerville Fire Department at 314 E. Maple St. on Friday, July 18 at 2 p.m. From there volunteers will fan out to line the sides of the road with flags provided by Eckhardt. He estimated that more than 2,000 flags would be needed to line the entire route between Centerville and Moulton.
This will be the second time Eckhardt has worked in Centerville. He previously worked with volunteers to line portions of Centerville with flags when Marine Master Sgt. Travis W. Riddick’s funeral was held at Simon Estes Auditorium in January of 2012. Between 250 and 300 volunteers turned out for the flag placing effort then.
On Saturday, July 19 Howard will be escorted from Lange Funeral Home in Centerville to Sunset View Cemetery north of Moulton for a graveside service before being buried next to his father. The public is welcome to attend the service which will begin at 11 a.m. and also include a 21-gun salute, playing of TAPS, flag presentation and an Air Force fly-over.