‘Operation Stars and Stripes’ initiative helps replace American flags in communities across US

Operation Stars and Stripes is an Optimum initiative to retire American flags.

Angelica Toruno and Robyn Karashik

Jul 2, 2024, 9:44 PM

Updated 17 days ago

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Replacing an American flag is not something service providers usually do for its customers – News 12’s Angelica Toruno heard from Optimum workers about a new program that helps display the red, white and blue with pride.
Operation Stars and Stripes is an initiative the internet service provider has recently begun in the state.
"I just happened to be in the neighborhood, I was doing some quality checks on some work that had been done,” said Scott Lermayer, the operations supervisor at Optimum in Norwalk.
That's when he noticed the United States flag flying on a local Navy veteran’s front lawn.
"He said I see your flag, it's kind of rough looking. And I said 'Yeah, it is kind of,'” said Charles W. Hoyt Jr.
He told him about the initiative of replacing worn American flags and Hoyt happily welcomed the gesture.
"I would like that. That would be…I would really, really like that, yes,” said Hoyt.
Optimum employees schedule a time to come and properly retire the flag.
"It's not a cable thing, it's not a customer thing, it's a country thing,” said Michael Hofmiller, an army veteran and field service Optimum worker.
"A true sign of patriotism to go around and add color,” Hofmiller.
On Monday, Hofmiller was present for another flag replacement in Stratford for a retired U.S. Army captain.
"Not only a World War II veteran, but a veteran that received the silver and bronze star…that saved thousands of lives during his time as an officer,” said Hofmiller.
Hofmiller says the veteran has flown the flag out of pride.
The company says this is only the beginning and it looks forward to the many more flags that it will be able to retire and replace.
Optimum is the parent company of News 12.


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