Veterans raise money for flags at DFW National Cemetery

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on May 1, 2012 at 6:56 PM

DALLAS - There's an entire room inside Bob Fussner's Cleburne home dedicated to his six years as a Marine: pictures, certificates, awards, a Bible. It's a wall of memories.

"Once a Marine, always a Marine, and I'm third-generation Marine," he said.

Neighbor Jim Fox was Navy.

"Yeoman, third class," he said.

Both men have regularly visited national cemeteries across America, especially on Memorial Day. Fussner was surprised when he went to Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery and discovered a tradition he held sacred didn't happen here.

At many of the national cemeteries he had visited, volunteers place American flags on each grave for each holiday. DFW National Cemetery does not.

Instead, the cemetery lines the main entrance with 300 flags. It is a stunning display, but Fussner and Fox would like to add to it.

"I had assumed that all the national cemeteries did it, and it was a shock to find out they hadn't been able to do it at DFW," Fox said. "And we want to change it."

Fussner added, "You know, we don't want to forget them, want to make sure they're honored in the proper way, and this is the proper way," Fussner added.

They are trying to raise $15,000 to purchase enough American flags to decorate each of the more than 30,000 headstones inside DFW National Cemetery.

And they'd like to get it done by Memorial Day.

"We want to make sure we get it done right this year," said Fussner.

A spokesman for the DFW National Cemetery said the tradition of placing a flag at each grave continues at many of the older cemeteries. However, the local cemetery must have approval from Washington, D.C, which may take time to obtain.

"We just laid a nephew over there," Fox said. "He had served and hadn't been back very long. He's in a place of honor.

"Because of what they did, we're here," he added. "And but by the grace of God, we'd be there too."

For information on the project, contact Bob Fussner at thurman903@yahoo.com.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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