TEXARKANA, Texas — Red Lick boys coach Neal Kizer and a group of Mustang students met Friday morning at the Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery to replace American flags on Veterans' graves for Memorial Day on Monday.
"Basically, we're carrying on the tradition of changing the flags for the veterans," Kizer said. "Our Red Lick kids put out flags at all of the veterans' gravestones. It's Texarkana Funeral Home's way of honoring the veterans that are here.
"For me, I've always taken pride in athletics being more than about just athletics. I want to teach them the intangibles and to present them with the opportunity to do a service project like this. It means a lot to the school and also the students. It teaches them a lot outside of athletics and it's something they can carry on for the rest of their lives."
Kizer's connection to local cemeteries through his wife is what drives his passion as a American to do his due-diligence on Memorial Day.
"This is my second year to be apart of this," Kizer said. "Mr. Dale Buster, who was apart of the Texarkana Funeral Homes, ran this program for years until he retired. Like I said, being apart of the school district, I thought it was a great opportunity if I stepped up. I have connections through the Texarkana Funeral Homes through my wife, so I think it's great they allow students and athletes to come out for this community service project. As long as they allow me, we'll keep doing it every year."