A Columbus native who commands a specialized team for the U.S. Air Force decided to take a piece of home with him when he was deployed to the Middle East last year.
Lt. Col. Joe Swaim, who commands the 560th RED HORSE Squadron in Charleston, South Carolina, took a Columbus city flag, the Indiana state flag and a Purdue University flag.
Many of the other commanders who are deployed often do the same, he said.
Swaim kept the flags with him while deployed for six months as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, moving between air fields and bases in Qatar, Kuwait, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates.
For more on this story, see Saturday's Republic.