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Paying it forward to continue a Memorial Day tradition

Angela Nelson (Left side of picture) of Mountain America Credit Union pays it forward to volunteers with The Eagle Field of Honor.

This month's Pay It Forward goes to The Eagle Field of Honor.

It's an inspiring display of 600 flags in Merrill Park. Each flag represents a member of the military from Idaho.

And each one has a yellow tag on it that gives name, rank and service information. Friends or loved ones usually pay $30 to sponsor a flag for a service member and at the end of the display, the flag is theirs to keep. Even if a veteran doesn’t have a sponsor for a flag, they won’t be turned away. Heather Paredes, Co-chair of The Eagle Field of Honor said other donations will cover the cost of the flag. "We would never ask a veteran to pay for one themselves,” Heather said.

The field of honor is run entirely with donations and volunteers.

This is the 10th year that Heather and her sister, Kathy Coburn, have co-chaired the event. They consider it a labor of love. Kathy explained, “You see the 600 flags flying and then you realize who they're for. It's just such a reward to see each name on a flag knowing that each person has served and helped us have the freedoms that we have."

She continued, “Everybody has to experience standing in the center of the flags. When you just walk through them and you get lost in the visual of the flags, the park and the blue sky, it's just a very peaceful feeling and you get kind of what it's all about.”

For Heather, it is all about the stories heard from people walking among the flags. “It's like a blessing to hear their stories. And sometimes – many times – the field is the only place where they feel comfortable talking about it. That alone makes it worth it.”

Angela Nelson with Mountain America Credit Union presented the sisters with a $500 Pay It Forward. They said the money will cover the cost of 16 more flags for service members who do not have sponsors. Heather said, “You just paid for a lot of veterans who we can just give them to, so thank you very much!”

To donate or find out more about The Eagle Field of Honor, click here.

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