CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Honor Flag arrives in Utah to honor Santaquin police officer

May 12, 2024, 9:34 AM | Updated: May 13, 2024, 4:18 pm

Image of Sgt. Billy Dean Hooser, an officer with the Santaquin Police Department that was killed in...

Image of Sgt. Billy Dean Hooser, an officer with the Santaquin Police Department that was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (GoFundMe)

(GoFundMe)

SALT LAKE CITY  The United State Honor Flag arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport Saturday afternoon that will be placed next to fallen Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser.

Hooser was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, May 5.

Chris Heisler, the founder of the United States Honor Flag, personally escorted the flag sealed in a black case to Salt Lake City. It was then taken to Santaquin where an honor guard presented and placed the flag on a podium next to Hooser’s casket.

Heisler said the flag has a history based on service. It flew during recovery efforts at Ground Zero and on the final Space Shuttle mission, STS-135 Atlantis.

“Since 9/11, the same flag has honored over a thousand police officers, firefighters, those killed in the military,” Heisler said. “We make a commitment to the families that, you know, after 9/11, it was we’ll never forget.”

The United States Honor Flag arrived in Utah on Saturday to honor fallen Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser. (United States Honor Flag)

Not the first time in Utah

The flag has been to Utah several times before. It was presented during the funerals of officer Doug Barney and officer Cody Brotherson in 2016 and officer Nathan Lyday in 2020.

“So in (in the family’s) darkest hour, if you can bring some type of brief healing that their loved one will never be forgotten that’s what we do.” Heisler said.

Each time the flag moved, it’s carried by a brand new set of custom gloves and saluted. The flag will follow Hooser’s casket everywhere it goes throughout his funeral service.

The first to hold and salute the flag was officer Jacen Harker of the Provo Police Department. The gloves he wore, along with gloves other honor guards will wear, will be presented to Hooser’s family.

“I think specifically for this family, we feel for your loss. And we’re here to honor your husband, your father. He’s not going to be forgotten,” Heisler said.

The United State Honor Flag is volunteer based. To help continue their cause to support more families, click here.

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Honor Flag arrives in Utah to honor Santaquin police officer