Veteran Flying Flag Upside Down to Protest Government Shutdown - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Veteran Flying Flag Upside Down to Protest Government Shutdown

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A Walton County military veteran raises a sign of distress, flying his large American flag upside down to protest cuts in veteran services due to the government shutdown. It's a symbol he hopes that other veterans will duplicate across the nation.

News 13's Addie Hampton sat down with the retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Thursday.

It's a sobering sight and, for some, a moral booster, according to 81 year old, Ed Armbruster. He said the shut down can take away veteran benefits, but not their will to fight back.

"Something's wrong and that's why we fly the flag upside down...and all of the military guys, the ones who are veterans, they understand what that's all about," he said.

Soaring 50 feet above the parking lot of Armbruster's DeFuniak Springs business complex, it's also a striking protest against the government shutdown's direct effect on military services.

"I'm concerned about the hurt that's being put upon the military people," said Armbruster.

He's specifically concerned about the cut of death benefits denied to the families of soldier's killed in action during the partial shutdown.

"That rubbed me wrong and I said I have to do something," he said.

Thursday, the Senate unanimously approved legislation to restore death benefits, following the House vote on Wednesday.

Armbruster's flag will still fly as a call to action for other veterans to restore moral in the military community.

"Every veteran can do his thing and fly his flag upside down for whatever his reason is, he might have it in his heart to say take that," said Armbruster.

It's a fighting spirit inherit in any vet, he says, when enough is enough. The 20 year veteran said this is a show of military solidarity not intended to protest the government, but perhaps to foster greater respect for those who serve.