Archived News | Return to News Center

June 25, 2004

ULM Officials to be Presented Flags From War

Jerry Hurst, an officer with the University Police Department at the University of Louisiana at Monroe was sent to Afghanistan in December of 2003 along with three other UPD officers. Shortly afterwards, Hurst received a package from his colleagues at the UPD. It contained the usual things: shampoo, deodorant, sunscreen, baby wipes, and cookies. But, the package, put together by UPD's Lt. Peter Lindsey, also contained a ULM bandana and ULM flag.

Hurst, assigned to Charlie Company of the 528th Engineering Battalion in Monroe, said he was overwhelmed when the package arrived. "Our unit replaced the 205th Engineering Battalion from South Louisiana. They had LSU flags flying everywhere."

"There are 12 ULM alumni and students serving in Charlie Company with me," Hurst said. "We were thrilled to see the ULM flag." All twelve signed the flag, which flew beside the American flag in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Both flags will be presented to ULM President Dr. James Cofer at a ceremony on today at 4:30 p.m. in the Media Room on the 6th floor of the ULM Library.

The box, which holds the American flag, bears these words: "This American flag is dedicated to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. It was flown on a combat mission in an AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter in the face of the enemy and bears witness to the resolve of U.S. forces in contact with terrorist forces threatening the freedom of the United States of America and the world."

"I am proud of these ULM employees and students. It is a privilege to accept the two flags on behalf of the university. We appreciate them and especially Sergeant Hurst for thinking of us during his time in the Middle East, " said Cofer. "We have approximately 357 students who receive military benefits. Many of these are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families."

Charlie Company is stationed in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
"None of us ever expected the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. But, we answered the call out of respect for those who lost their life in that attack." Hurst said "We're ready to get this mission over and come back home and get on with our lives."

Hurst said he has worked at the UPD for about one year. He loves the university and especially his colleges at UPD. "Police officers have to rely on each other, which means we become very close. Being a member of the department is like being a member of a close family." Three other UPD officers are currently serving in the Middle East.

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.