Tuesday, February 07, 2017

TOP STORY >> Group promotes flag education

Leader staff writer

The central Arkansas chapter of the Military Order of World Wars honored retired Maj. Gen. Ron Chastain of Conway with plaque in recognition of his leadership in the state’s flag education program.

“I’m passionate about it. I want to continue with the flag education and the veterans history interview project for the Library of Congress,” Chastain said.

Chastain, who retired Jan. 31 as agricultural liaison for Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) for six years, has given 74 flag education presentations to fifth graders in central Arkansas schools on the history, care and proper treatment of the U.S. flag.

He trained veterans and Boozman’s staff members to give the presentations.

Jim Elmer, former commander of MOWW, said, “One of the things MOWW stands for is flag education. Patriotism is one of the things MOWW is founded on since 1919. When we started 30 years ago, the state passed a law that everybody in the fifth grade is supposed to have a class in flag education. Arkansas is the only state in the union that has that requirement.”

Chastain served in the Army National Guard for nearly 40 years and worked 32 years for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

He was born in Franklin County and graduated from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville with a biology degree in 1972.

He began his career with the USDA in 1974 and dealt with federal farm programs at the county, district and state levels.

At the same time Chastain was member of the Army National Guard. He served as deputy commanding general for the Arkansas Army National Guard at the U.S. Army Forces Command, the Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, as chief of staff of U.S. Forces in Korea, Commander of the 39th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and commander of the 25th Rear Operations Center during Operation Desert Storm.

Chastain has been inducted into the Arkansas Military Veterans’ Hall of Fame. He retired from Arkansas Army National Guard in 2010.