Claremore Navy veteran gets a special gift from his family

Tuesday, November 8th 2005, 6:33 am
By: News On 6

A Claremore Navy veteran is celebrating a birthday he'll probably never forget.

All Ralph Von Valkenburg wanted for his 62nd birthday was a flag pole, one that stood taller than his house, so he could fly old glory and the Navy flag. His family got to work to make it happen. They surprised the 22-year veteran with not only the pole, but with a color guard, who presented him with the flags that now fly proudly over his home.

Ralph Van Valkenburg: "Ha, they surprised me, ha ha.” Ralph’s wife Mary Van Valkenburg: "He's really patriotic and you know, we're very thankful to be able to do it.”

After the flags were raised, the family sang the star spangled banner. Then it was inside for birthday wishes and a special cake that included pictures from Ralph's military career.