On a frozen evening during February’s winter storm, PEC Journeyworker Mike Kinne and Lineworker Apprentice James Ringstaff saw a lit flagpole and could tell the Georgetown member’s American flag had fallen due to the extreme weather. They decided to stop and help.
That member, 92-year-old Melba Swingler Loveless, assumed something was wrong when her phone rang and it was PEC at her gate. “Yes ma’am, something is wrong,” Kinne told her. “Your flag is on the ground. If you open the gate we’d be happy to get it for you.”
The American Legion Flag Code states that the flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground. Knowing this, Kinne and Ringstaff felt it was important to take a minute to retrieve the flag, and did what they could to fold it properly despite it being completely frozen.
“I was so impressed that people still care about the flag to take the time to do that, especially in that terrible cold,” Loveless said. “It made me so happy, I’ve told everyone I’ve come in contact with!”
After the storm, Loveless’ son helped her replace the flag with a new one, which she proudly flies day and night. She said it made her proud that these lineworkers stepped in to help when they didn’t have to.