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It all began when Taylor County Middle School exceptional child educator Kelly Mattingly wanted a way to honor her late grandfather, who was a U.S. Navy veteran.
Mattingly's grandfather, Ellsworth Henry "E.H." Simpson, died 19 years ago. The flag that covered his casket had been destroyed by accident while in storage.
Her husband, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Eric Mattingly, is a pilot for the U.S. Army currently serving in Iraq.
"Eric said, 'If you'll send a flag over, I'll fly it in his honor,'" Mattingly said.
The idea prompted Mattingly to think about her students and how she could honor her school as well.
Read more about this story and others in Monday's print edition.