HAVERHILL — Army combat veteran Michael Frost says if the American flag he carried into combat could speak, it would tell a harrowing tale or two.
It was with him during two tours of duty, including on one day in Afghanistan in 2007, when several Afghan soldiers under his command were killed in an ambush and he was thrown into the air by an explosive device, landing on his back on a boulder.
Lying there, unable to move, he was shot in the leg.
"Wherever bullets flew, that flag was with me," Frost said.
He said he carried the flag in his rucksack and whenever he set up camp in a combat zone, such as in the mountains of Afghanistan, he would fly the American colors.
At times he'd tie it to a long stick that he transported on a donkey and would plant the stick in the ground.
"It was my own base flag," Frost said. "Snipers would shoot at it, giving us time to locate them and shoot back."
If you drove past City Hall yesterday, you saw the same flag flying in front of the building.
Yesterday morning, Mayor James Fiorentini fulfilled Frost's wish to have his combat flag displayed in his own country.
"We're proud to have you as a native son," Fiorentini said during a ceremony honoring Frost for his military service.
Frost's flag was hoisted up the flag pole in front of City Hall, where it was to fly for 24 hours and then be returned to him.
"This flag was flown at a combat base and to bring it home and have it flown in honor of those he (Frost) served with is unique," said city Veterans Services Director Michael Ingham.
Frost, 46, recently visited the mayor to talk about the flag and how much it would mean to him and those he served with if the city would display it. Frost's parents, the late George and Joan Frost, were friends of the mayor, Frost said.