We already owe retired U.S. Air Force Capt. Terry Shaw a huge debt — his 27-year military career is an inspiration to all — and now we offer the Denton resident an additional salute for helping make Independence Day shine just a little more brightly.
Thanks to Capt. Shaw’s example, we are confident that many residents paid closer attention to all the U.S. flags that were on display across Denton County throughout the holiday weekend.
We also believe that they gained a new appreciation for the community volunteers who make sure the flags are flying — most are members of area service clubs.
Due to an ongoing battle with cancer, some days are better than others for Capt. Shaw, said his wife, Deborah Shaw, and when something brings her husband excitement, she cherishes the moment. That’s what inspired her to write a thank-you letter to Denton Rotarians recently.
She had watched as her husband grew more and more excited when he saw American flags being put out in the couple’s neighborhood as part of the Denton Morning Rotary Club’s holiday flag program.
“He could sit at the window and watch those flags wave for hours,” Deborah Shaw said.
She sent the letter to let club members know that what they were doing was appreciated, but she never expected to get a response.
After receiving the letter, however, club members went to the Shaw home and placed an additional four flags out front to show their appreciation for Terry Shaw’s service.
“The letter meant a lot to all of our Rotary Club members who volunteer to put out the flags,” Brian Glenn, an executive board member, told us.
The couple also received a folded flag presented by Junior ROTC cadets from Denton High School.
The Rotary Club’s flag program started 20 years ago to support local and international service projects. Anyone who donates $40 can ask Rotarians to put up a flag at his home or business on five holidays a year — Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day.
In 2012, Glenn said, the club split the program geographically with the Denton Noon Rotary Club. The morning club now sets up 1,400 flags each holiday and members of the noon club put out at least 300, group members said. More information about the flag program can be found at http://rotaryflagsofdenton.com/.
Those flags are much more than a holiday backdrop, and despite an ongoing battle with cancer, Capt. Shaw has emphasized that lesson. Along with service club members, he has helped instill a new appreciation for Old Glory.
We thank him for his service and for the continued inspiration that his example provides.