US Honor Flag returns to Wyandotte County for fallen deputies’ funeral

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Law enforcement from around the country are expected to attend memorial services for deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer on Thursday.

The U.S. Honor Flag will also be present. It's traveled the equivalent of 215 times around the planet to attend services for fallen officers, firefighters and soldiers.

Rick Griffin and his wife traveled more than 300 miles to pay their respects to the deputies. They're Patriot Guard riders who held flags at King's visitation Wednesday and will take part in Thursday's procession.

Wyandotte County deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer

“I’m burning two days vacation, meals, hotel rooms, some tanks of fuel, but that’s OK. They gave their life. I’m giving a small blip on my screen," Griffin said.

While they were here, they wanted to check out the camper hauling the U.S. Honor Flag and meet the couple who travel with it.

“These people sold their house and donated their lives just to doing what they do, so that’s amazing," Griffin said.

Over the past decade Chris and Cynthia Heisler have attended more than 1,000 heroes' funerals and traveled 350,000 miles on the road. The flag has flown another 6.5 million miles in cockpits to services for police, firefighters and the military.

“It’s like a head of state moving around, and it’s pretty remarkable that this one flag does that," Chris Heisler said.

Relative to its size, there’s one community they’ve visited more than most.

“We’d rather come to Kansas City for the speedway and barbecue, not for funerals," Heisler said.

“This is my third time at the Sporting KC Stadium, and I’ve never been to a soccer game, which stinks," Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kenneth Kooser said.

The flag was here for KCFD’s fallen firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh and for KCKPD’s Det. Brad Lancaster and Capt. Dave Melton.

Officers with the State Honor Guard are back at the same stadium where those services were held, using largely the same plan put together by Melton before he was killed.

“We want the family unfortunately going through this traumatic experience to have something to look back on with pride, that we showed honor to their loved ones and to them through this thing," Kooser said.

The same flag that was flying on September 11th will travel with the deputies to their burial, where the families will be presented with the white gloves always used to handle it.

“No matter how many funerals I’ve spoke at, no matter how many caskets that we’ve helped carry, no matter how many times that flag has been handled we will not forget the heroes that have been killed and we will remember them," Heisler said.