TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

May 13, 2013

Paying Tribute

Late Corbin man to be honored with flag presentation


The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By Becky Killian, Editor

A Corbin man who died in 2008 while serving in the U.S. Army will be honored with a flag presentation today at Wildcat Harley-Davidson in London.

Sgt. Virgil S. Curnell was stationed in Washington state when he died Nov. 22, 2008.

Theresa Hopkins of the Kentucky Chapter of Honor and Remember arranged the flag presentation after Virgil Curnell’s mother, Judy Curnell, 53, called her in February.

Hopkins said the opportunity to honor the sacrifice by Virgil Curnell and his family is “the most wonderful feeling in the world.”

“We can’t bring them back, but this is just letting them know that we are thinking about them and that they will be remembered,” Hopkins said.

Judy Curnell said the flag presentation demonstrates to her that the community hasn’t forgotten her family’s loss.

“It makes me know that the county appreciates every sacrifice made by our men and women — that they haven’t forgotten the ones that’s died,” Judy Curnell said.

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather for whom he was named, Virgil Curnell enlisted at age 17 after graduating from high school at age 15, his mother said.

Though his mother had hoped her son would go to college, he was adamant that he wanted to serve.

“Of course I was proud,” Judy Curnell said.

Siblings Tom Jackson, Hopkins and Tim Jackson founded the Kentucky chapter of Honor and Remember following the death of Tim Jackson’s son, Lance Cpl. Timothy Matthew Jackson, who died Sept. 30, 2010, in an IED explosion. At his burial in the Wells Cemetery in Keavy, a cemetery that is also the resting place of several veterans, Tim Jackson noticed an American flag and a POW/MIA flag being flown. However, he wondered why there wasn’t a flag honoring service members who died in action.

Hopkins said the group presented three flags in Owensboro on Veteran’s Day last year. They expect to do about three more in July.

How to donate to Honor and Remember

Checks payable to the Kentucky Chapter of Honor and Remember should be sent to P.O. Box 2121, Corbin, KY 40702. Donations are tax deductible and are used to cover the cost of the flags as well as travel costs for their delivery. Anyone who has lost an active military member dating back to the Civil War can request a flag for their family by calling Theresa Hopkins at 606-280-0764.