A young boy with a mission.
“The flag means a lot to me and it means freedom of our country,” says Liam Willcox.
After hearing a veteran speak of the value of the American flag at his school, 12-year-old Liam Willcox began to notice the American flag, particularly worn out flags.
“One particular flag is where it all started,” says Stephanie Willcox. “It was very faded and torn, and I thought well, we’ll just go buy a flag for them and then he started noticing more and more flags that were ripped.”
That’s when Liam began his Flag Restoration Project to replace all torn flags around the Quad Cities.
With the help of his family they’ve gone door to door replacing flags.
With so many, they began seeking donations.
Local businesses, individuals and organizations began donating flags or money.
One of those groups was the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which not only donated flags, but selected Liam to be recognized by the Rock Island Arsenal.
“I’m also active duty military, I figured that would be a nice thing for him to come over and hang out with soldiers, hang out with veterans and be recognized by the army for his efforts,” says Lt. Col. Joe Odorizzi.
On Friday, the First Army honored Liam at their annual Organization Day.
They presented him with a certificate of appreciation, a first army hat and a personal letter.
Surprising the young boy who’s inspiring so many.
“Receiving the certificate was a surprise, I didn’t know it was coming, and I was very glad to come to the first army today,” says Willcox.
Not only replacing flags, but touching hearts.
“A twelve-year-old walking around making sure that the flags are displayed properly, and that they’re in pristine condition, you know that’s powerful,” says Lt. Gen. Stephen Twitty. “It means that the next generation, they understand the value of having an American flag and what it means to be an America.”