U.S. Army Lt. Lawrence Angle II, born and raised in Hagerstown, made a life-changing decision in July 2008.
At age 38, Angle, who was a real estate lawyer in Washington and Frederick counties, left all that he had known behind and shipped out to basic training in the military.
“I was tired of being on the sidelines,” Angle said. “We’re at war, and I felt like I should do my part.”
Deployed with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, known as “Tropic Lightning” based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Angle carried the flags of Maryland, Washington County and the city of Hagerstown for the duration of his deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
He recently returned home from his first tour overseas.
Accompanied by his parents and grandfather on June 5, he returned the flags to City Hall and was honored with a resolution of appreciation for his service from Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and the Hagerstown City Council.
“We thank and support Lt. Angle, as well as all of our military — both past and present, for their admirable dedication, contributions and sacrifices in defending our nation,” Bruchey read from the proclamation.
Angle, now in his 40s, said it was his idea to take the flags with him, noting that many soldiers bring an American flag with them and later give them to schools as a keepsake.
Stashed in assault pack that he kept with him at all times, Angle carried the flags on the “most kinetic battlefield in the world,” as his brigade assisted Afghan forces in establishing security and government in three Afghan provinces to offer local people “some kind of life without being blown up, shot at (or) robbed,” he said.
“I figured this would be a way to remind people that we’re still at war,” Angle said. “It’s a pretty brutal area.”
As Bruchey read the proclamation honoring Angle, a photograph was displayed on a screen in the council chambers showing Angle and his brigade holding the three flags, he said.
“They shoot at our American flags all the time,” Angle said.
Angle serves as a member of Security Advisor Team 3 “Tripod,” which partnered with the 2nd “Toufan/Steel” Brigade of the Afghan National Army. During their deployment, his unit established a combined coalition-Afghan tactical operation center and headquarters in Jalalabad to help with the transition of authority.
Angle is the son of Tina M. and Lawrence E. Angle, and the grandson of Eugene Angle, all of Hagerstown.
He is a 1987 graduate of Mercersburg (Pa.) Academy, a 1992 graduate of the University of Mississippi, a 1996 grad of the University of Baltimore School of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1997.
Angle and his unit will be redeployed to the same location, Regional Command East Afghanistan, in July 2013, he said.