Military and musical tributes dedicated to the memory of a fallen soldier are scheduled for Friday as part of Elks Lodge No. 28's annual Flag Day observance.
The family of Army Capt. David VanCamp is set to receive a Medal of Valor from the Elks at 6:30 p.m. VanCamp was killed June 29, 2011, during a rocket attack in Badrah, Iraq. the Wheeling native was 29 years old and was just a few weeks shy of his scheduled return home.
VanCamp had previously been injured in 2006, also while serving in Iraq. He had been stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and was commander of Company H, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in 2011. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Since his death, many community honors have been bestowed on VanCamp and his survivors - his widow Chelsea, parents Donald and Linda, brothers Donald, Dennis and Daniel and many other relatives and friends.
Wheeling residents lined the streets for his funeral procession, fundraisers have been held in his memory and a baseball field was named in his honor. All of these efforts by his friends and neighbors have meant a lot to his family members.
"Although I still live outside of Fort Hood, Texas, where we were stationed when Dave deployed, I have so appreciated your continued show of love for Dave ... ," Chelsea VanCamp wrote in June 2012, marking the first anniversary of his death. "I have felt so blessed to come from a town like Wheeling. I am sure no other town could have honored a hero so appropriately or with so much heart."
Wheeling Elks Lodge 28 will conduct Medal of Valor and Flag Day ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the lodge at 47th and Jacob streets in Wheeling.
Elks Northern District Deputy Pat Duffy said as part of Friday's ceremony, The Pitts Sisters, Rose and Connie, will perform patriotic songs, while Army Sgt. Daniel Weitz will provide military escorts for VanCamp family members.
The public is invited to attend the event at the Elks Lodge at 47th and Jacob streets in Wheeling. A Flag Day presentation will follow the Medal of Valor ceremony. Cookies and refreshments will be served at the conclusion of the evening.