is the most difficult Va Flaggers update I have had to write, to date.
Even now, several days after his passing, I am having great difficulty
putting down the words I need to share.
Earlier this week, after a brief illness,
Va Flagger Spokesman Barry Isenhour went home to be with his Lord and
Savior. To say we, his friends, family, and compatriots are devastated
is a gross understatement. Many of you know Barry as the public face of
the Virginia Flaggers, a volunteer role he stepped into and filled
without hesitation, and with eloquence and Southern charm, but there was
so much more to Barry.
I met Barry in the few first few weeks of flagging in Richmond, back in
2011. We became fast friends. He said I reminded him of his sister, so
I became "Sis" and he called me that ever since. Barry was a Tar Heel
and quick to tell you so, but he was also a proud defender of his
adopted home, Virginia. He was highly educated and knowledgeable in
many areas, and had the unique gift of being able to talk to just about
anyone about anything. I can honestly say, that with the exception of
our enemies, those "Heathen Yankees and Scalawags", as he called them, I
never heard him say a harsh word about anyone.
Barry was, first and foremost, a Christian, and he reminded me, almost
daily, that if we ever took our eyes of Christ and tried to move forward
in our will instead of His, we were doomed to failure. His trust and
faith was in Christ alone and my faith was strengthened from the
It is hard to list everything did for me, the Virginia Flaggers, and our
Cause. In addition to his duties as spokesperson, Barry headed up our
Guardians of the Flags across the Commonwealth, organizing flag repairs,
participating in almost every flag replacement, delivering flags from
Lexington to Danville, and constantly reminding me when we needed more.
He also personally saw to the replacement of the Third National flags
in Hollywood Cemetery. His last communication to me before he died was
to make sure we had received new flags for that purpose and to ask me to
make sure they were replaced. I honestly cannot remember a time that I
asked something of Barry and he said "no". He was ALWAYS willing to go
and do whatever was needed.
He enjoyed a good cigar, a good hot dog, and spending time alone in cemeteries with "his boys", as he called our veterans.
He was ALWAYS an encourager. If I ever got down or feeling a little
defeated, he was quick to send encouragement, usually laced in
scripture, and get me back on focus.
He also had the ability to produce, without argument, the loudest, most
fierce rendition of the Rebel Yell of anyone I have EVER known.
The South has lost one of its most dedicated and devoted defenders.
Barry's political experience in the Tea Party and other groups made him a
natural working behind the scenes in Virginia politics. He was our
point man in the General Assembly and attended almost every relative
committee meeting and vote over the past several years. He was a
dedicated flagger, having logged thousands of hours flagging in
Richmond, from 2011 to just a few weeks ago. He was a key member of our
monument patrols, helping to organize and always willing to fill a slot
All of this and
so much more than I can list here means that his passing has left a
void in our organization that I honestly don't know how we will fill,
but more painful to me is the loss of a dear, true, loyal friend,
something that is not easy to find in these times.
Due to the
current restrictions due to the flu outbreak, a memorial service will be
held at a later date. We are in discussions about several ways we want
to honor Barry's memory, hopefully to include a flag site to be
dedicated in his memory, among other tributes... but if I know Barry, I
believe he would say that the best way to honor his memory is to pick up
the flag he has now laid down and continue the work he began.
He never, ever quit, or backed down from a fight.
I wrote this down once, after he said it to me, and I'm so glad I did...
"The Va Flaggers run TO the Colors, not
away from them, because we understand that the battle is won or lost
there, beneath the cross of St Andrew." ~ Barry Isenhour
In the midst of great grief, I rejoice
today, knowing that Barry received his eternal reward on Tuesday, and I
imagine the reunion in heaven was a joyous one, with throngs of our men
in gray waiting to cheer him home.
Tell them we will not abandon the field of honor, bro, and we will join you soon.
God bless the eternal memory of Barry Isenhour, and God Save the South!