- Associated Press - Sunday, June 29, 2014

OSMOND, Neb. (AP) - With the nation’s birthday just around the corner, Americans are getting in a patriotic mood.

Some people like to buy fireworks and celebrate with noise and bright flashes. Others like to hang an American flag in front of their house.

Then there’s people like Larry Wiegert Sr., who lives east of Osmond. Wiegert has a large American flag painted on the side of one of his sheds on his farm - clearly visible to traffic on Highway 20.

The Norfolk Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/UMEyQP ) that on Wednesday afternoon underneath the hot sun, he was climbing a ladder to touch up with paint the places where it had chipped or faded.

Wiegert said he grew up a few miles east of the place he now lives.

“Dad and Mom were always patriotic,” he said, “and it just rubbed off on us.”

That rubbing off included Wiegert serving in the military in 1961, about the time the Vietnam War was getting started.

Wiegert served in California, but was not allowed to go into combat. He was born with a lazy eye and lost sight in it.

“I was stateside,” he said, “but I would have gone over if they needed me.”

Many of his family members did.

“The flag means a lot to me,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of family who has participated in combat and some of them wounded.”

His son, Larry Jr., served and was seriously wounded in Iraq in 2005. He’s now retired.

“That was a bad day (when Larry Jr. got hurt),” Wiegert said. “We thanked the Lord he is still with us. He’s 90 percent disabled.”

To this day, Larry Jr., has trouble with his wounds.

Wiegert’s wife, Alice, designed the flag on the shed. She had an uncle, Charlie, who was killed in World War II and other relation who served.

“Alice is an artist and a sign painter,” Wiegert said. “The reason why I’m doing this is because Alice has cancer now.”

On Wednesday, Alice was undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Norfolk. She is able to return home after treatments.

“I’m proud of this (flag) and what Alice did,” he said. “It means a lot to me.”

___

Information from: Norfolk Daily News, http://www.norfolkdailynews.com

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