City officials surprised with mission flags, plaques

Event arranged by technical sergeant from Belfast
By Fran Gonzalez | Jul 07, 2018
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez Belfast Deputy Treasurer Liz Kelley stops to compose herself while presenting flags and plaques to Police Chief Michael McFadden, left, and City Manager Joe Slocum, right, July 2.

Belfast City Manager Joe Slocum and Police Chief Michael McFadden were given an unexpected surprise Monday morning.

Both men were asked to come to Belfast City Hall at exactly 11:30 a.m. Upon arriving, Deputy Treasurer Liz Kelley presented them with flags and plaques in honor of the "commitment of men and women of the Armed Forces," and also honoring the City of Belfast. The flags were flown on missions in Southwest Asia and the Middle East.

One of the plaques reads: "This American flag was flown on June 6, in a F-22 Raptor, in honor of the Belfast Police Department during a combat mission in Southwest Asia, targeting and disrupting terrorists operations in the support of Operation Inherent Resolve."

The other flag flew on a KC-10 Extender, a refueling plane from Al Dhafra Air Force Base in the United Arab Emirates. The flag represents "the Global War on Terrorism, and honors the thousands who died in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the fields of Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001."

"Let all who look upon this flag be reminded of their accomplishments and steadfast devotion to protecting the freedoms our flag represents," the plaque inscription reads.

The event was organized by a former Belfast High School graduate who now serves in the Combat Army NCOIC. Tech Sgt. Eric Kelley graduated from high school in 2006 and joined the Army the following year. He is now stationed in the United Arab Emirates.

This is "very, very, very considerate," Slocum said. "It is such a great idea."

Kelley's sister, Liz, who coordinated the event, said, "Sorry if I got a little emotional. I just want him back home."

Tech Sgt. Eric Kelley, a Belfast Area High School graduate who now serves in the Combat Army NCOIC, coordinated flags flown on missions project. (Courtesy of: Liz Kelley)
This plaque and flag were presented to Joe Slocum,  honoring the city of Belfast July 2. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
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