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Delaware veteran presents flags to honor VA facility health care workers

Delaware News Desk

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept through Delaware, a local veteran found a way to honor health care workers in a very veteran way. 

Chaplain Al Kraft, also known as Mr. Positive, began a mission of honoring his new heroes at Delaware health care facilities with framed American flags.

The 72-year-old Vietnam veteran, who served 18 years, 1966 to 1983, wanted to find a unique way to honor those fighting the pandemic on the front lines.

“The way many of the people in the health care field were sending their kids to other relatives so they did not have to go home with chance of infecting them, l was really impressed and motivated to do make something beautiful and inspirational for them,” Kraft said about the health care workers, who are “giving up so much to protect the community and to show them they are American heroes.”

Kraft honored his military connections by starting his mission by presenting flags to the health care workers who care for the nation’s veterans at Wilmington Veterans Affairs Medical Center and its Delaware Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Dover, serving Kent County, and Georgetown, serving Sussex County. 

His time serving his country as a Navy counselor was spent specializing in career and drug and alcohol counseling. Now a chaplain, it is clear helping others is always something he has held close to his heart.

“I have learned, in the short time that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him, that Mr. Kraft has a strong heart, desire and calling to make the world a better place,” said Chaplin Brynn White, acting chief of chaplain services at Wilmington VA Medical Center. “While he has already given much to this country, he continues his calling of giving back — but this time by honoring health care heroes working on the front lines. His energy to change the world one person at a time is contagious, and we are thankful for Al.”

After honoring the health care workers at Wilmington VA Medical Center and its CBOCs in Dover and Georgetown, Kraft is working on knocking out his list of other local hospitals with the hopes of starting a trend and expanding into other states.

Wilmington VA Medical Center provides health care services to more than 32,000 Veterans through its main medical center and five Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Delaware and southern New Jersey. 

For more, visit wilmington.va.gov.

Chaplain Al “Mr. Positive” Kraft displays the flag he presented to the Veterans Affairs health care workers at the Kent County Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Dover, Delaware. Chaplain Kraft is presenting encased American flags to his health care heroes at VA and community medical facilities around Delaware.
A donated flag honoring Veterans Affairs health care workers is displayed in the main lobby of the Wilmington VA Medical Center.
Mary Lou Kline, a registered nurse with Veterans Affairs, receives a flag from Chaplain Al “Mr. Positive” Kraft at the Sussex County Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Georgetown, Delaware. Kraft is presenting encased American flags to his health care heroes at VA and community medical facilities around Delaware. The 72-year-old Vietnam Veteran, who served 18 years, 1966 to 1983, wanted to find a unique way to honor those fighting the pandemic on the front lines.
A donated flag honoring Veterans Affairs health care workers is displayed in the main lobby of the Wilmington VA Medical Center.