Robert and Judy Willits moved to Fieldstone Housing Addition in Greenfield, Indiana last Christmas. Robert is a Korean War veteran who was seriously injured in the war and fought alongside his brother Lester, who was never found and never came home. Over the summer, Willits built a flagpole in his front yard so he could proudly display the flag he fought and bled for along with the MIA flag, which he vowed long ago to fly until he finds out what became of his brother.
Last month, after finishing his flagpole and proudly flying his flags, Willits received a letter in the mail from his homeowners association telling him he had broken the rules of the association and would have to either take the flagpole down or be fined. The Willits were shocked and outraged. “I am not taking it down,” Willits said.
“That flag is for the freedom of every person in here. It represents freedom. Lester is still out there. So I’m going to keep it up.”
His wife, Judy, feels the same way. “With the penalties they’ve imposed on us, I feel it’s really un-American for somebody that is a 100% disabled vet,” she told local reporters.
A group of Hoosier vets demonstrated around the flagpole Monday afternoon to support the Willits family’s stand.
The HOA decided to compromise, offering to fly the MIA flag from the community flagpole and telling Willits he could hang his American flag from the bracket above his garage. If Willits refused the compromise, he would be charged a $500 fine to cover the legal fees.
Willits responded that he wouldn’t pay the fine and the flags are staying put. The HOA said they are still deciding what to do if the Willits continue to disobey. Both the Association and the homeowners have hired attorneys.