Bank of Georgia gets flag from troops

Tue, 10/09/2007 - 3:22pm
By: Ben Nelms

It is the little things in life that sometimes make the greatest difference. One of those little things came by way of Amelia Swanson, an employee at the Fayetteville branch of Bank of Georgia on Ga. Highway 54 just outside Peachtree City. Swanson communicated with soldiers in Iraq about the bank’s practice of wearing a yellow ribbon on their shirts each Friday in support of troops. In return, soldiers sent an American flag flown in Iraq during a combat mission in late July.

“I have quite a few friends who serve and some who are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. We correspond through emails, letters and occasional phone calls,” Swanson said. “In one of my last emails to a friend that is currently deployed in Iraq I told him about how our bank has the yellow ribbons sewn on the sleeve of our shirts to show support. I told him that I have never worked for a bank that has expressed such support and that is one of the reasons I enjoy working here so much.”

Swanson’s friend relayed her words to his troops. Those soldiers decided to return the gesture with a show of support of their own. Bank of Georgia recently received a letter from 1st Lt. Jeremy D. DeGrier, expressing the gratitude of troops for the support from Swanson and Bank of Georgia. His letter was accompanied by a flag that held special significance.

“We flew the flag over Iraq in appreciation of the support shown us,” DeGrier wrote, noting that the flag was flown for the employees of Bank of Georgia on July 31 during a combat mission over Iraq. “From all the soldiers of Bravo Company 2-135th General Support Aviation Battalion “Bootleggers,” we wanted to extend our gratitude for all you have done for us and our families. As this flag flew it symbolized the sovereign power of the United States of America and the unshakable resolve to keep our country safe.”

The yellow ribbon worn on the bank employee’s red shirts each Friday is a way of supporting the troops, Swanson said. Her assessment of the relevance and significance of wearing a little yellow ribbon on a shirt sleeve went beyond the recognition the bank received. It spoke to the hope for a resolve born in a spirit of compassion, a resolve that others may share, a resolve that lets soldiers far from home know that they are remembered and that their actions do not go unnoticed.

“This is a way to encourage the troops. They are away from home. They and their families need and deserve encouragement for the hardships they all go through. Hopefully this will inspire other people to reach out and make a statement and show their support,” Swanson said. “We often forget that the smallest statement may make a big difference in someone’s life that day.”

The flag and 1st Lt. DeGrier’s letter are located in the lobby of the Bank of Georgia’s original branch located at 2008 Hwy. 54 West near Peachtree City.

login to post comments