Okmulgee Vietnam Veteran Surprised With Awards

Sunday, May 28th 2017, 10:35 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The annual Avenue of the Flags ceremony honors fallen veterans each year during Memorial Day weekend, by raising thousands of flags at Floral Haven Cemetery. 

American flags are everywhere you look here at Floral Haven.

Each and every one of the more than 3,000 flags are all donated by families of fallen veterans.

For the 45th year in a row, new flags were raised to honor veterans at the cemetery. 

Veterans like Kathie Wormington's grandpa Luther, who died last year at 87.

Luther was a combat veteran of Korean War and WWII and his nickname was "Buzz."

"We sure do miss him," Wormington said. 

His flag is one of more than 100 added this year at the Avenue of the Flags ceremony. 

Among the crowd is Vietnam War veteran Ronnie Haney.

News On 6 first introduced you to Haney back in April when he arrived back home from a trip to Cambodia with his son. 

4/11/2017 Related Story: Okmulgee Vietnam Veteran Receives Surprise Welcome Home

"My trip to Cambodia has changed my life quite a bit," Haney said.

His wife, Robin, planned the surprise welcome home for him last month, and she kept another secret for Saturday, May 27.

"I'm like a zipper - you zip me up, it stays in!" Robin Haney said. 

This shadowbox kept in the hallway of their Okmulgee home needed to be a little more "presentable," she told her husband. 

"He didn't think anything about it because I am not one to fib to him - but I did!" Robin said.

Little did Ronnie know, the past 12 years of Robin's love and labor would finally come to fruition this Memorial Day weekend. 

His second purple heart, a bronze star, overdue badges and medals are now where they should be, with Ronnie, and in one place.

"It brings back memories of why I was over there and how I got back and now it reminds me of the people that care for me now," he said.

And while he feels honored, the Army vet said he honors and remembers all others who have served.

"I don't consider myself as a hero no more than any one of 'em," Haney said.