The display case holding the American flag has a place of honor at the $265 million Sooper Credit Union branch in Grand Junction, although members are quite often surprised when they spot it in the lobby.
“Members notice it right away,” said Judy Moeller, branch manager. “It’s quite an honor for us to have this flag. Personally I have great emotions about receiving the flag. My father was killed in WWII so no greater honor could I have received than to be presented with this flag and to hang it in the Grand Junction office.”
According to Dan Danner of Little Rock, Ark., it was his honor to present the flag to his longtime credit union.
“I’ve been with them since I was a kid,” Dannar said. “They’ve helped me through a lot of tough times and for that I will always be grateful.”
Dannar is a Master Sargent in the United States Air Force and will be retiring this year in September.
Dannar recently had his parents to present the American flag that was flown over Afghanistan on Feb. 17, 2010 on a combat mission supporting Operation Enduring Freedom by “The Tiger Sharks” squadron to Sooper. The flag has flown more than 10,000 combat hours. His parents and brother also received a flag.
“ It’s my gift to Sooper for sticking by me for 21 years,” Dannar said. “I felt they deserved it.”
Dannar has been a credit union member with Sooper since he was seven years old. Part of the reason he is so attached to the Colorado credit union is because of the staff.
“I’ve been all over the world and every time I come back Karen and a few other ladies are still there to greet me,” he said.
He said that no matter where his career took him- Thailand, Germany, France and South Korea, Sooper remained his primary account.
“My parents actually were members’ way back when,” he said. “It’s kind of a family tradition.”
Moeller said that she is honored to have the flag on display in the credit union and that she is also proud of the longevity of her staff.
“I am celebrating 33 years with Sooper,” she said. “There are some of the staff that have been here longer than I have. That says something about our credit union.”
Sooper Credit Union was founded 60 years ago now serves members in four principal states - Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico
“We were deeply honored to receive this flag from Mr. Dannar. We can only imagine the sentimental value this flag must hold for him, so the fact that he chose to present it to Sooper Credit Union holds very special meaning for our entire organization,” said Dan Kester , Sooper’s president/CEO in Denver, Colo. “Our credit union operates like one big family, and we truly care about the well-being of our members. We have a personal investment in our communities, our members and our employees. We are grateful to have received this flag, and appreciate moments like this when we can see the way our work impacts our members.”
The flag that now resides in Colorado, also flew on some of the most dangerous missions in an Apache helicopter over enemy territory in Afghanistan.
“I think the flag really is a sign of support for standing by me and others in who fight for our country,” Dannar said. “I really am pleased that they are displaying it for everyone to see.”