Central Texas Pastor Ronnie Woods caught a lot of attention around town Monday as he celebrated Memorial Day in a unique way. Woods walked nearly 10 miles from Bellmead to Waco while carrying a nearly 20-foot tall American flag, all to raise awareness about the sacrifices of service members.
"The flag is our badge of courage, our badge of honor, our badge of respect and our badge of freedom," said Woods.
Woods has never made the trek with the flag before but said he's thankful for the sacrifices of those who protect and serve and he wanted to show his appreciation in a big way. Woods felt the VA was the most appropriate place to pay his respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Woods began his journey at the HEB in Bellmead and made the nearly 10-mile walk to the Waco VA Hospital, all while carrying the flag. Many people honked and said thank you when passing Woods on the road.
"It's for the ones who made it home and the ones who didn't. It's for the ones who fought for the American flag and for what they believed in so that we could have a right to be free," said Ronnie Woods, Gathering Home Church.
Woods says his father in law served in WWII before retiring in Waco. The flag Wood used on his journey is from his father in law's burial. Woods hopes his efforts honor his father in law's sacrifices and encourages others to pay their respects year round.
"It's like people who wait until Sunday to go to church, God ain't waiting to hear from you just on Sunday. The people who lived and died for us are not waiting to hear thank you just on Memorial Day," said Woods.
The walk inspired many people including Woods wife Chris Brock.
"We need to honor those who made the sacrifice and not forget them, that's why he walks with the flag and I'm very proud of him," said Chris Brock, Bellmead resident.
Woods hopes his actions will motivate people to take a break from their busy lives just for a moment to honor the fallen.
"If it's worth fighting for, it's worth keeping and worth remembering," said Woods.
Woods says it wasn't an easy trip but was worth getting his message out to the community, he says he plans to make the flag walk an annual tradition.