Senator Ritchie Announces ‘Stars for Our Troops’

Sets Goal to Collect 100 Worn US Flags to Cheer Service Men and Women Abroad

State Senator Patty Ritchie announced that she is seeking 100 worn, tattered and faded American flags during the month of October as part of her “Stars for Our Troops” campaign to cheer 5,000 US service men and women overseas with a simple, patriotic reminder of home.

“The men and women of our military spend months in strange and dangerous lands far from home to protect the flag and the freedom it represents,” said Senator Ritchie. “This campaign allows us to retire a worn and used American flag in a dignified way that also tells a member of the US military that he or she is remembered, appreciated and respected.”

“Stars for Our Troops” is a program of volunteers who remove the star field from worn flags that have been cleaned, and includes individual stars among care packages that are sent to troops. The flag remnants are disposed in accordance with approved flag etiquette. Senator Ritchie has arranged with a business in the Albany area to clean and process the flags that are collected.

Each star includes a card that reads, “I am part of our American flag that has flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The sun and winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that you are not forgotten.”

Senator Ritchie said that 100 flags flown from homes in Central and Northern New York will be sufficient to send stars to 5,000 US service men and women.

“It’s a fact that many flag owners aren’t exactly sure how to properly dispose of a worn flag, and they end up in a closet or drawer once they are unfit to fly. This program benefits them, as well as reminds all of us to check to see if it’s time to replace the stars and stripes flying at our home,” Senator Ritchie said.

“Too often the men and women of our Armed Forces who risk their lives to defend our freedom wonder if anyone back home appreciates the sacrifices they make on behalf of all Americans,” said John Canale, chairman of the Battle of the Bulge Veterans Association. “Senator Ritchie’s “Stars for Our Troops” program provides a respectful way for families to properly dispose of their flags, while providing them with a way to thank our troops for their service.”

Senator Ritchie will be collecting worn flags at each of her district offices:

Watertown, Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St.

Oswego, County Office Building, 46 E. Bridge St., 1st Floor

Ogdensburg, City Hall basement, 330 Ford St.