Keesler worker presents mayor flag from battlefield

A Keesler base exchange worker and Biloxi native who volunteered to manage an exchange in Qatar for six months brought home a souvenir for Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway and the citizens of Biloxi: an American flag that flew over Afghanistan on Veterans Day.

Earline Mitchell, who has traveled around the world with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in the past 31 years, presented the flag to Holloway Monday at City Hall. Mitchell is home for a two-week leave and will return to Qatar Jan. 2. She’ll back at her post at the Keesler exhange on Feb. 21.

The U.S. flag she presented to the mayor flew aboard a KC-135T aerial tanker that refueled F-16s above Afghanistan on Veterans Day, as part of Operating Enduring Freedom. An accompanying certificate of authenticity read: “This flag represents our dedication and steadfast devotion to duty in the fight against global terror, and the vindication of the thousands of innocent people who perished during the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”

“I was over there and I thought it would be nice to bring something to Mayor Holloway and the people of Biloxi,” Mitchell said. “I love my city and I also wanted to recognize the great relationship between the city and the men and women of Keesler.”

Mayor Holloway presented Mitchell a Certificate of Appreciation and thanked her and others who serve in the military for their sacrifices and dedication.