Flag that traveled in mission dedicated to Alverton man
By Paul Paterra
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 9:00 p.m.
Wilda Hyskell admitted she got very emotional about an American flag she recently received.
There's a pretty good reason the Alverton woman felt that way. The flag accompanied U.S. Air Force personnel on a mission in Afghanistan and was dedicated to her husband, Ronald Hyskell, who died Dec. 13, 2011.
This came about due to the efforts of Hyskell's grandson — Joseph Alan Nay II — a 1996 graduate of Southmoreland High School, who currently lives in Alabama. Nay worked many years at Redstone Arsenal, a U.S. Army base in Huntsville.
Dianna Freels of Mt. Pleasant, Nay's mother, said her son contacted the Air Force, since his grandfather served in that branch of the service from 1964-1970.
The flag eventually made its way to a very surprised Wilda Hyskell.
“It really was a surprise,” she said. “I cried and cried. When I held it in my hands, I cried again. I just was overwhelmed that somebody would think to do that and what it has gone through, the flag itself. What overwhelmed me so much is that it became a reality of what our boys and girls are over there for. My grandson was in for Thanskgiving and he said the flag did see a little action.”
Ronald Hyskell was a well-known person locally. He owned and operated Hyskell farms in Alverton for many years.
Wilda Hyskell admitted receiving the flag does bring her a little closer to her husband.
“It makes me think of maybe what he went through when he was in the service,” she said. “He was not in the war zone, but he guarded the bombers. That was part of his duty. Ron never waved his own flag. He never did. I never even knew he was in special services until he died.”
The flag is encased quite nicely. Also included is a picture of the helicopter on which the flag was carried during the mission, which is a certificate of authenticity noting the flag has been awarded to Ronald Keith Hyskell. It also explains the mission during which the military personnel had this flag with them.
“On 20-21 December 2011, this flag was carried by Air Force officers of special investigations during the conduct of counterthreat operations with Parwan Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom,” reads the certificate.
Hyskell recently took the flag to a church service at Center Bethel Church of God, where her husband was a member.
“My son attended with me and got up and told the congregation all we know about the flag,” she recalled.
Freels was proud of what her son did,
“I think it's a true blessing,” Freels said. “I think my son went beyond what he could have done. He showed his love by doing this. He loved his grandfather. He really did. It was something my dad would have been proud of... It just brought the family to tears.”
Hyskell has the flag displayed proudly in her Alverton home.
“We hear so much bad, but somebody thought to do this for me and for Ronald,” she said. “I know it took a lot of chain of command to get this done. It just overwhelmed me that my grandson would think to do this.”
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
- Boxer ‘Hurricane’ Carter, famously wrongly convicted, dies at 76
- Miss America asks York school to rethink prom question suspension
- Biertempfel: Kendall’s book offers inside look at life in majors
- Penguins’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury
- More women seize opportunities to start businesses
- Officials identify Chartiers shooting victim as Wilkinsburg man
- NFL notebook: Pryor will be cut if he’s not traded