Returned gift of affection

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2005

AULANDER – Oak Grove Baptist Church of Aulander sent numerous boxes to military personnel stationed in Iraq during the war.

One of these boxes was sent to the troop of Lieutenant Colonel Scott Allen Matthews of Greensboro. Scott is the husband of Kimberly Matthews, the granddaughter of Daris, deceased, and Pearl Dunlow Longendelpher of Ahoskie.

Matthews’ troop was stationed at the base of Al Sad, Iraq and, after receiving one of Oak Grove’s packages, had the United States flag flown over the base in honor of the church’s outstanding support of the military.

The troop then sent a shadow box housing the U.S. flag and a picture of the flag as it was being flown to the church.

The mat behind the picture was made from one of the Marine’s fatigues.

On July 3, Donna Hoggard officially presented the flag to the members of the church, thanking them for their thoughtfulness and dedication.

&uot;Every box that they received were like Christmas gifts,&uot; Joan Spencer, Scott’s mother-in-law, said on his behalf. &uot;Everyone shared among the troop and cherished every bit of it.&uot;

Lieutenanat Colonel Matthews later received the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in connection with combat operations involving conflict with an opposing force.

&uot;It’s kind of an old clich\u00E9 that we are proud to be an American,&uot; Spencer said. &uot;But when talking to someone like Scott, we really see what that slogan means.&uot;