Flag raising

Matt Anderson (from left) Eric Albert, Tony Atallah and Nathanial Atallah raise a US flag Saturday morning at the First Valley Medical Group  office on the corner of 50th Street West and Avenue L-8.

QUARTZ HILL — A US flag is back on the flagpole in front of the First Valley Medical Group clinic.

The clinic, previously known as Quartz Hill Walk-in Medical Group, has been at the corner of 50th Street West and Avenue L-8 for about 25 years.

Having a flag on the flagpole outside the clinic was a tradition started by the late Dr. John R. Blodgett Jr., the clinic’s former owner who died in 2008. The previous flag was taken down because it was worn.

The pole was flag-less for several months this year, including Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Many of the clinic’s longtime patients asked why there was no flag on the pole.

“People get used to seeing the flag there,” Manager Isabel Andrade said. “It’s tradition. We just wanted to have it for the holiday.”

The clinic got permission to order a new one, measuring 15 feet by 25 feet.

A group of community members, including a representative from each branch of the military, Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines, raised the flag Saturday morning.

The group included Air Force veteran Tony Atallah, his wife and their sons Nathaniel and Dylan; Army veteran Eric Albert, Joe Walker Middle School STEALTH Academy teacher Matt Anderson, whose father was an Air Force veteran; and Anderson’s wife Elizabeth, whose father was a Navy veteran.

“It was just very humbling that other military people would jump right in and help to raise our flag, and to know all the people that came to help have a tie into the Westside (Union School District) family, as well as military family,” Matt Anderson said.

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