MIAMI – A flag that was flown in Afghanistan and donated to Miami High School by Army veteran Adam Weece now has a place of honor where it can be viewed and saluted in all its glory.
Weece — a 1995 graduate of MHS — donated the flag, which he brought back from Afghanistan, in 2010. It had flown while he was stationed there.
The school recently took the flag down from its original location in the Miami Activity Center gym and had it framed by Gallery 9 so it could be preserved for future generations of students.
MHS principal Nick Highsmith said “MHS was pleased to have Leon Weece (Adam’s father) on site to show him our completed flag project. Mr. Weece’s son, Lt. Col. Adam Weece, presented this flag flown in Afghanistan to MHS in May of 2010.The flag was hung on the wall in the MAC gym, but we recently chose to have it framed to help preserve it. The flag will hang high on the main commons area wall so that students have a place to salute it during our daily pledge of allegiance.
“Previously, students caught in the hallway during this time were always searching for a classroom flag to salute. We appreciate Captain Weece’s service to our country.”
“It’s surprising,” Adam Weese said. “My intent was to honor MHS and to thank them. I never expected them in turn to do me the honor of putting it up. My first thought is to say it’s humbling. It just makes me pause and it’s incredibly appreciated that my service is appreciated. It’s definitely not necessary, but it’s so welcomed. It’s not just recognizing me — it’s recognizing my brothers and sisters in uniform who have served and continue to serve.
“Less than 1% of the population serves or has served. There’s such a natural disconnect with what it’s like to be in the military and what it’s like to be out. If you don’t have a direct connection you don’t really know. And I am happy to have provided a reminder, not as a recruiting tool, but as something for students to be mindful of — that there’s more out there and there are sacrifices and commitments being made on their behalf.”
Adam Weece served in Iraq and Afghanistan with what he said he wants to call “kids,” but they really weren’t. “They were 18 and 19-years-old and they were carrying a heavy adult burden on behalf of their nation and they were the same age as our high school seniors. They were out there struggling and sweating and didn’t know if they were going to die, and some of them did. It’s very impactful to think about what is beyond the walls of the high school for current students. I am so proud to get to be a part of this for future generations,” he said.
“I am very proud of my sons and the way they have served in the military. And for one of them to be remembered is just extra special to me,” Leon Weece said.
“Personally, I was so glad we were able to complete this in my final days as principal at MHS,” Highsmith said. “It was a project that was special to me. The Weece family means a lot to my family and I have always admired their service to our country and Leon’s service to our community.”