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Unique memorial honors vet: Flag disposal box set up in Lowry

The children of Jerry Tvrdik, World War II veteran who passed away July 4, 2016, stand by a drop box for torn and tattered American flags outside the Lowry American Legion that was put up in his honor. From left are Craig Tvrdik, Lowry American Legion Veteran; Todd Tvrdik, Lowry Sons of the American Legion; and Sharie Kalina, Lowry American Legion Auxiliary. (Contributed) 1 / 3
Jerry Tvrdik was a member of the Lowry American Legion. He was believed to be the club’s last living World War II veteran. He passed away July 4, 2016. (Contributed) 2 / 3
Jerry Tvrdik, who passed away July 16, 2016, served in the U.S. Army during World War II. (Contributed) 3 / 3

There is a box outside the Lowry American Legion that may look like an ordinary mailbox, but there is nothing ordinary about it.

It is an American flag drop box and it was put up in memory of Jerry Tvrdik, a member of the Legion who passed away July 4, 2016.

Tvrdik, according to Lowry American Legion Commander Tom Hills, was believed to be the club's last living World War II veteran. After he passed away, Hills said Tvrdik's family donated money to the Legion in his honor.

"We knew we wanted to do something in memory of Jerry," said Hills. "The flag drop box seemed appropriate so people can properly dispose of their torn and tattered American flags."

The drop box, which Hills believes is the only one of its kind in the area, was put in place a couple of weeks ago. He said there already have been a couple of flags put in it. Hills also said that the Legion will have a ceremony and dispose of them properly by burning them.

Hills said the feedback has been very positive and that people have said it is "amazing."

Tvrdik served his country during World War II in the Army, and was wounded during active duty near Saint Lo, France. He was a lifetime member of the Lowry American Legion and Alexandria VFW.

His children, Craig, Todd and Sharie, all live in Douglas County.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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