Special tribute

Jeff Petzke, middle, wanted to pay a special tribute to the Dinwiddie family on the Friday and Saturday before Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie’s funeral. From left, Darrel Charlton, Petzke and Norm Dunbar stand in front of an American flag.

Courtesy photo

As dawn began to break the morning of May 17, several hundred people across Central Texas were making their preparations to attend a funeral service for fallen Killeen police Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie.

Darrell Charlton, a Harker Heights Kiwanis Club member, started his day at 7 a.m. at a quiet ceremony by placing 21 flags along a Heights street where Dinwiddie’s father, Dick Dinwiddie, lives.

Placing flags is nothing new to the Kiwanis Club. The Heights club delivers U.S. flags year-round as one of their major fundraisers. However, the flag program took a sudden turn May 15 when neighbor Jeff Petzke asked the club for a favor.

Petzke contacted the club asking if they could line the street with U.S. flags on Friday and Saturday as a tribute to the officer and his family.

“I’m not doing this for my recognition, it’s for this wonderful family and the tragic loss of their son,” he said.

David McClure, also a Kiwanis member, said he had known the late Chuck Dinwiddie since was just 10 years old.

“He could be a prankster in a fun sort of way, but as you can see he became an outstanding young man and true servant,” he said.

Charlton, who is flag chairman for the club, said not all the residents along the street were part of the club’s flag program, so he went door-to-door May 15 asking for their permission to display the flags in their yards.

“They all agreed,” he said.

Assisting Charlton in displaying the flags on May 16 was Kiwanis member Norm Dunbar.

They came up with a quick solution for those who were not in the flag program by pounding rebar posts in the ground then placing the flagpole over the post.

On the day of the funeral, the two split up the work with Charlton pulling the early shift. Dunbar removed the flags late that evening. Residents can secure the flag service with a $20 per-year donation to the club. The flags are delivered the morning of the designated days then picked up at the end of that same day.

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