Teen honors Hoosier veterans by putting flags at gravesites

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CENTER GROVE, Ind. — A local teen is hoping to make every day a time to honor Hoosier veterans.

Landon Blackwell is laying American flags at the foot of hundreds of gravestones across central Indiana. On a warm Sunny day, the 15-year-old boy is spending his summer break walking through graveyards.

“I get a little emotional inside,” said Blackwell.

He’s spent the last few weeks laying close to 600 American flags at the grave sites of veterans. He came up with the idea before Memorial Day, bought hundreds of flags, and then decided to keep his mission alive by continuing to honor veterans who have died.

“Whenever I lay down the flag, I always think to myself about all they did and I have such an eager attitude to put that flag down,” said Blackwell.

He has a method to his mission. He moves from marker to marker, peacefully and reverently.

“I also like to read their names,” Landon said. He read, “George O’Carrol. Tech 5 US Army. He was in World War II.”

In tow, he carries a bag belonging to his grandfather, a navy veteran.

“It’s neat seeing my dad’s name on that and he’s continuing the respect that all the military personnel deserve,” said Brian Blackwell, Landon’s father.

They weather wear, tear and even some vandalism.

“Some vandals came about a week, two weeks before Memorial Day and actually tore the flags off their stakes and he had put those there about a week prior to that,” Brian said.

Landon’s mission remains the same.

“They’re easily replaceable, but I kind of feel upset they did that, not only for me, but to the veteran and family as well,” Landon said.

He’s hoping to spread his American pride to other Hoosiers who can carry on the same duty.

“Veterans day should be every day,” Landon said.

The flags cost about 60 cents each. You can find out more about Landon’s efforts by clicking here.

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