Jeffrey Sahli, a student at Evergreen Middle School, loves his country, and he loves his country’s flag.
The 14-year-old eighth-grader decided at the beginning of the school year that the American flag outside his school should be treated with more respect, and he’s been raising and lowering Old Glory every school day since, with the enthusiastic permission of principal Jane Sutera.
Jeffrey’s desire to “serve his country” is a quiet commitment, not a way to seek recognition.
But on Thursday, thanks to Sutera and a Kentucky National Guard member who served in Iraq, Jeffrey nonetheless was recognized in a moving ceremony at the school when he was presented with a flag that flew above Camp Liberty in Baghdad.
Jeffrey’s efforts with the U.S. and Colorado flags were noticed by an EMS parent, who passed along the story to a friend of her family serving in the Middle East. That friend, 1st Sgt. Timothy Horan of the 138th Fires Brigade, who purchased a flag at the PX and flew it above Camp Liberty.
Jeffrey was presented that flag, and an Army certificate honoring his patriotism, at the ceremony engineered by Sutera.
But true to his selfless daily deed, Jeffrey, who hopes to one day attend West Point, deflected the attention to others.
“I want the soldiers to see the flag flying high” when they return from duty, he said.