VVA Chapter 142 in Monroe recently presented seven-year-old Randy Long Jr. with a plaque and an American flag to show appreciation for his volunteer service. The boy has washed and polished the memorial stones of more than 90 veterans throughout Michigan since last year.
Long started with a stone bearing the name of his great uncle, Richard Carlton, last year. “I decided, out of respect, I wanted to clean the other names too, because they deserved it,” he told the Monroe News. “These men deserve respect.”
“You just don’t see enough good stuff by young men nowadays,” Dr. Dennis Warner, chapter president, said at a ceremony attended by several members of the Long family. “When we saw what this young man was doing, we knew we needed to show our appreciation.”
The veterans also made Long an honorary member of the chapter, and Michigan State Council president John Riling II gave him a State Challenge coin. “I think he deserves special recognition not only from the chapter, but also from the state,” Riling said.
“That flag’s ginormous,” said Long, who plans to serve in the military once he’s old enough to do so. “I think I’m going to hang it up on my wall.”