A flag for Capt. Stover

Eagle Scout project chosen as tribute to late Air Force captain from Vancouver

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter

Published:

 

Monday ceremonies

• 9 a.m., Camas flag ceremony, Camas Cemetery, 630 N.E. Oak St.

o 9:30 a.m., Ridgefield flagpole dedication: American Legion Post 44 will dedicate a new flag and pole at the Ridgefield Cemetery, just off Hillhurst Road at Cemetery Road. The project was funded by Post 44 members; the flag and pole will be donated to the city.

o 11 a.m., Vancouver Barracks observance: The Memorial Day observance is at the Clark County Veterans Memorial along Fort Vancouver Way. Col. Richard W. Wedan, commander of the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing, is keynote speaker.

o 11 a.m., Washougal ceremony: Program will be at Washougal Memorial Cemetery, 3329 Q St.

o 2 p.m., Harmony flagpole dedication: A flag pole honoring Capt. Christopher Stover will be dedicated at Harmony Sports Complex, 1500 N.E. 192nd Ave.

Monday ceremonies

• 9 a.m., Camas flag ceremony, Camas Cemetery, 630 N.E. Oak St.

o 9:30 a.m., Ridgefield flagpole dedication: American Legion Post 44 will dedicate a new flag and pole at the Ridgefield Cemetery, just off Hillhurst Road at Cemetery Road. The project was funded by Post 44 members; the flag and pole will be donated to the city.

o 11 a.m., Vancouver Barracks observance: The Memorial Day observance is at the Clark County Veterans Memorial along Fort Vancouver Way. Col. Richard W. Wedan, commander of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 142nd Fighter Wing, is keynote speaker.

o 11 a.m., Washougal ceremony: Program will be at Washougal Memorial Cemetery, 3329 Q St.

o 2 p.m., Harmony flagpole dedication: A flag pole honoring Capt. Christopher Stover will be dedicated at Harmony Sports Complex, 1500 N.E. 192nd Ave.

A place where Chris Stover played soccer as a boy, then refereed games, now has a tribute to the Air Force pilot who died on Jan. 7.

On Friday afternoon, Connor Johnson and several fellow Boy Scouts and adult leaders installed a flagpole at Harmony Sports Complex as a community salute to Stover.

The graduate of Evergreen High School and the Air Force Academy died in a Jan. 7 helicopter crash during a training flight along the English coast.

Johnson, a freshman at Mountain View High School, is working toward the rank of Eagle Scout and chose the flagpole for his Eagle project.

When he thought about a tribute for Stover, “I knew I wanted to do it, no matter what,” Johnson, 15, said. “He lost his life serving our country.”

The flagpole will be dedicated at 2 p.m. Monday at the soccer area of Harmony Sports Complex, 1500 N.E. 192nd Ave.

Stover’s family likes the idea of a tribute at the sports complex. His family will attend the dedication, including parents Rick and Mari Stover, sister Kelly Stover and wife Sarah Stover.

“We’re very excited for it to happen,” Rick Stover said.

It’s a fitting place, because Harmony Sports Complex became their family’s weekend hangout, he said.

“It’s where Chris played Little League baseball and played and refereed soccer,” he said.

A longtime sports official, Rick Stover still occasionally referees soccer games at Harmony. The rest of the family also was involved in youth soccer there, he said.

It’s not just family members who will know the meaning of the 30-foot flagpole and the commemorative granite stone at its base.

“A lot of people in the referee community and soccer community remember Chris vividly,” Rick Stover said.

In addition to the team that was on hand Friday evening to assemble, rig and raise the two-piece flagpole, Johnson received contributions for his project. They included donated materials and labor, as well as money.

Capt. Stover will receive another tribute Monday, during the 11 a.m. Memorial Day observance in Vancouver Barracks. The event at the Clark County Veterans Memorial along Fort Vancouver Way will include the presentation of a wreath to the Stover family.

The HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter pilot and his crew were part of the U.S. Air Force’s 56th Rescue Squadron, based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, England. Stover was buried on Jan. 27 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado.

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