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Operation Iraqi Freedom flag now on loan in Afghanistan

Saugus grad brings home flag from missions past as it heads for more elsewhere

Posted: December 18, 2009 11:29 a.m.
Updated: December 18, 2009 12:44 p.m.

Saugus High School will then be one of the few entities to have an American flag that has flown over both Iraq and Afghanistan during combat operations.

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The American flag in the display case in the front lobby of Saugus High School once flew proudly in the Apache helicopter of Saugus graduate Capt. Aaron Schilleci.

It now is on its way to perform similar duty with American troops in Afghanistan.

Capt. Schilleci’s command, Charlie Company, engaged in more than 100 missions over Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His unit (Task Force Wolf Pack) now is deployed in the mountains of Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, where the environment is much more challenging than the flat, arid terrain of central Iraq.

Capt. Schilleci recently contacted Saugus High Principal Bill Bolde, requesting to keep tradition alive and fly the same flag in the Afghani Theater of Operations that had flown in Iraq.

“Once the flag arrives in Afghanistan,” said Schilleci, “we will fly it, take pictures, produce a certificate, and return the flag safe and sound to Saugus.”

Saugus High School will then be one of the few entities to have an American flag that has flown over both Iraq and Afghanistan during combat operations.

Principal Bolde respectfully removed the flag from its place of honor in the specially-designed case donated by the Marines and forwarded it to Capt. Schilleci accompanied by letters of encouragement and appreciation from Saugus students.

“We send our very best to Capt. Schilleci and his company,” said Bolde, “as they continue to secure our freedoms on foreign soil.”

The empty case will remain on display until the flag returns.

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