A World War II veteran in Torrington, Connecticut, is giving lessons about patriotism to anyone who will listen.
Ninety-five-year-old John Mastrocola takes his American flag and sits in a lawn chair on his sidewalk every morning at 8 a.m., according to Fox 61.
“I am one of the very few World War II veterans left, so before I leave I want them to remember John ‘never surrender’ Mastrocola,'” he told the outlet.
The U.S. Navy veteran waves the flag at passersby for several hours each day because not enough people respect the flag or the country, he said.
“This is what I fought for. Once you disrespect the flag, the country goes down the tubes,” Mastrocola explained.
The veteran was awarded the SAR Flag Certificate by the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution on July 2, according to the society’s Facebook page:
The Gov. Oliver Wolcott, Sr. Branch awarded the SAR Flag Certificate to John Mastrocola of Torrington, Connecticut on…
“Weather permitting, John can be found sitting alongside the busy street outside his home waving the American Flag. Most motorists passing by wave and toot their horns to show their patriotic appreciation,” the post read.
The certificate was awarded “in recognition of exemplary patriotism in the display of the Flag of the United States of America,” it continued.
The veteran said the longest he sat outside waving his flag was one day when he was “really t’d off,” but he usually did not stay quite that long.
“Other than that I try to average about two and a half hours,” he noted.
Mastrocola said despite the fact he was dying of cancer and weighed less than 100 pounds, he would continue sitting outside in his lawn chair with the flag to show the pride he had in America and for his fellow service members.
“When you don’t see me out here, then you’ll know,” he explained, and began humming the familiar military bugle call, “Taps.”