Checotah Family Shows Off Patriotic Tribute To Daughter
CHECOTAH, Oklahoma - One Oklahoma town is showing a giant sign of patriotism for a girl about to answer the call to duty. The Checotah family’s oversized undertaking could best be seen from Osage SkyNews 6 HD.
A giant, 76-foot by 40-foot American flag was painted into the lawn in front of the Howell home. It’s a labor of love and a show of support for their daughter.
“We just wanna pay tribute to her and everybody that does serve,” said Nellie Howell.
It took 12 hours to paint and 30 friends and family members to help get it finished Monday night, but the final product was impressive.
“We’re trying to keep it together. That’s what we’re trying to do and I just hope the flag makes it a little longer, so that’s gonna be hard when it’s gone too,” Nellie said.
She is proud of her daughter, Haylee, who will be leaving for Navy Boot Camp Monday.
“It’s hard not to, I’ve cried off and on ever since Monday. That’s when it really hit me that it's happening,” Nellie said.
Haylee first told her parents of her plans a year and a half ago and she has been at monthly meetings with recruiters since last year.
“She said she just always felt it. She knew it’s what she wanted to do, but she never told us,” Nellie said.
Monday, she had her own hand in completing the flag, painting the stars.
“We tried to get as close and keep the dimensions and ratios accurate the best we could, and I think we did pretty good,” said Nellie.
She said it was just a patriotic way to give Haylee all the support possible as she gets ready to serve her country.
“It’s an important thing and everybody should raise their family that way, but it’s even bigger now,” Nellie said.
Haylee's mom said she always tested well in math and science and has always loved the water. She plans to be a start as a sonar technician and can’t wait to travel the world.
The family won’t get to see Haylee again until after boot camp in September, then she heads to San Diego. After that Haylee begins her journey around the world.