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      VFD gets donated flags to honor fallen firefighters

      The Valdosta Fire Department received a generous donation Thursday morning from a local funeral home.

      Music Funeral Home donated flags to be used when firefighters pass away. Chief J.D. Rice says the department's honor guard has a ceremony to celebrate the firefighter's time with the fire department.

      Chief Rice says they usually drape the casket with an American flag or no flag at all. He says the department wanted to find something that is standard for everyone. One flag is for the casket and there were smaller flags donated to be given to the family.

      He says the funeral home stepped up and asked if it could purchase the flags and donate them to the fire department.

      "We just wanted to have something to tell the family, you know, this is a firefighter we're laying to rest and we appreciate his time and service to the city of Valdosta and to Valdosta Fire Department," Chief Rice said.

      Rice says he is thankful for the donation. This comes the day before he retires after 18 years as the fire chief for VFD.

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