INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence Police Department on Wednesday assisted in fulfilling the promise an 86-year-old Korean War veteran from Kansas City, Mo., made to a friend more than 60-years ago.
During the war, Army First Sergeant Floyd Walter Boyer, nicknamed ‘Cotton’, made a pact with a friend and fellow airman, Capt. Charles Grossheart from Southern Missouri.
“This was a really big deal for him. He was 23-years old when this transpired, when he got the flag . He’s 86 now. He’s an emotional person so he doesn’t like to talk about his time spent over there except for that he served and he’s very proud of that,” said Paul Beckford, a friend of Mr Boyer.
Beckford said he met Boyer while he was working in his apartment.
“I’m a veteran myself… we started talking and he kind of opened up to me, one veteran to another. He told me his story, I kind of told him mine. He said, ‘Hey I got a favor to ask you,’ and he brought this flag out to me and showed it to me and told me the story and I said, ‘Hey I’ll do what ever I can to get it done for you’, and that’s what we’ve done,” said Beckford.
Beckford contacted the Independence Police Department with the request. Apparently, Mr. Boyer had tried to get the flag flown at several places but was turned down.
Not this time.
The Independence Police Department helped facilitate the flying of the cherished flag, organizing a brief ceremony for the flag raising. Then the Independence Police Dept. Color Guard conducted a flag folding and presented the flag to Boyer. However, he said he wanted to police to take care of it.
“It just needed to be flown somewhere,” said Beckford. “That was the most important thing. That was the most important thing in the world to him to have this done for his friend, and it’s done and he’s very happy about it.”
Floyd “Cotton” Boyer is widowed and has two children who live out of town. He lives at a Kansas City retirement facility.
“I’m not no hero. Cause the ones that are our heroes didn’t make it back,” he said referring to his friend and fellow airman Capt. Charles Grossheart.
The 86-year-old Korean War veteran became emotional at times during the ceremony and in gratitude to the Independence Police Department, who took good care of the elder during the emotional event.