Soldiers' thank you

Friday, March 2, 2012
Left to right - John Stange, BJ Stevicks, Clay Drenth, Bradley Gustafson, Louie DeRoos. /Photo by Sue Stevicks

Louie DeRoos and John Stange take their high school wrestling coaching very seriously. Last wrestling season they had another job they took very seriously - serving their country.

The two were stationed in Afghanistan but three fine men - Bradley Gustafson, Clay Drenth and BJ Stevicks - picked up their coaching duties; that meant a great deal to the soldier coaches who were so far away and saying thank you was not enough.

So, they flew flags, on separate days, in honor of the three fill-in coaches, at Camp Dubbs in Kabul. And taking a step further, they folded the flags, put them in triangle-shaped cases and presented them to the three men at the winter sports banquet Monday along with documents stating the day the flags were flown.

"They stood in for us and kept the (wrestling) program strong," said DeRoos, thankful for their leadership.

He added that he and Stange could have presented the flags to the men at their homes, "but we felt this was the opportune time for people to share in our gratitude."

DeRoos and Stange also flew flags for the Alta School and the Aurelia School and presented those folded and frame flags at a basketball game so that they may be proudly displayed at the schools.

DeRoos and Stange were back coaching this year, joined by Gustafson.