by Cynthia Tintorri
August 16, 2012
Christopher Lomax has been dropping off his son, Dane, at Northampton Community College's Horizons for Youth summer camp for four years now. Last summer, he noticed that the College's POW-MIA (Prison of War-Missing in Action) flag was looking "a little shabby."
This summer, Lomax was alarmed to see that the flag's hem had come undone and was hanging in the breeze. "I thought, 'That's not gonna work,'" he says. And he immediately set about getting the College a new one.
"There are a lot of people who aren't home yet. That's why the flag is important," Lomax avers. He is a Viet Nam veteran who spent a year in-country with the army in 1969-70.
In a letter to NCC President Dr. Mark Erickson that accompanied Lomax's donation, Lomax writes, "Not everyone is clear on why the POW-MIA flag is so important to many of us. Many say that freedom isn't free, but I think that fact is often lost along the way. I believe the POW-MIA flag keeps the home fires burning and reminds many of us of the sacrifice so many have given."
Lomax, a pharmacist at B. Braun Medical in Bethlehem, is also a believer in community colleges, having attended San Diego Mesa College after returning from Viet Nam. "For many of us, our start in college was interrupted by the war, so there was some catching up to do. Mesa College allowed me to successfully get back in the game." He continued his education at Long Beach State and USC Pharmacy School.
For Lomax, his wife and son, "NCC is pretty important to us. My son loves the [Horizons for Youth] camp. The staff is just the best -- they're upbeat, perky, and positive -- they take great care of the kids."
And next year, when Lomax returns with his son for camp, he will see the flag flying and know that thousands of those who haven't yet made it home are being remembered by NCC ... respectfully.
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