P.O. Box 1855  |  Martinsville IN 46151  |  Phone: 765-342-4880   

Flag Day


"3-D Combo"

Denny Champlin - Daniel Pond - Dena Holmes


"Bugles Across America"

Zondra Kale-Griffen --  USAF SGT Jim Martin


"YouTube Video"

Chris Schiewer - ING SSG Jon Schiewer




Sat., June 11, 2016 | Martinsville

By Bryan Ault | bault@reporter-times.com

        Flag Day holds a special place in Denny Champlin’s heart. That’s why he and his band, 3-D Combo, will hold a concert in honor of the commemoration at 3 p.m. June 19 in the 4-H Auditorium at the Morgan County Fairgrounds, 1749 Hospital Dr., Martinsville.

        “I think Flag Day is going to be my thing because I can honor my father and veterans,” Champlin said. “I was looking for something patriotic to do. I feel like everybody can do something.”

        Champlin comes from a patriotic family. On June 6, 1944, his father Sylvanus Champlin was in New York City while Allied Forces were invading France on D-Day. Eight days later – on June 14, or Flag Day – Sylvanus arrived on Utah Beach in Normandy.

        “I know from his oral history that they waded in water with their rifles up to keep them dry while snipers were shooting at them,” Champlin said. “None of us reading his war record understood the significance of those dates.

        “As I read my father’s war record, I’ve got all of his oral stories, and I’m trying to write up a biography for his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren so they’ll know what a guy he was,” Champlin said. “I got all his war records, his purple heart, his bronze stars.”

        Flag Day was established as an observance in 1916 under President Woodrow Wilson. In 1776, George Washington was introduced to Betsy Ross, who was sowing flags for the Philadelphia Navy. Ross sowed a sample for Washington. The American flag was born.

        “Since we started a war, we needed our own flag,” Champlin said.

        Champlin has taught music and owns his own business near downtown Martinsville.

        “I wanted to get back to my roots,” Champlin said. “I love teaching. God has given me a gift and I have a responsibility to pass on what I know.”

        He wanted to do an event that honored not only his father, but also other veterans. Memorial Day and the Fourth of July were covered, so Champlin thinks Flag Day is his “niche in this patriotic town.”

        The June 19 concert will feature patriotic songs from different wartime periods. Several of them are sing-alongs. “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America,” and “God Bless the U.S.A” are on tap for the show.

        Champlin has added a drummer to the band this year. The Civil Air Patrol and Bugles Across America will be involved with the concert. Admission is free.

© Copyright 2016 Martinsville, Ind. Reporter-Times | Used by Permission



Sun., June 19, 2016 | Martinsville

By Amy Hillenburg | ahillenb@md-times.com

Sunday was the second time that Denny Champlin’s 3-D Combo band honored fathers and Flag Day by putting patriotism to music in the 4-H Building at the Morgan County Fairgrounds.

Champlin, of Champlin Music in Martinsville, drummer Daniel Pond, and bass guitarist Dena Holmes presented a program woven with poems, stories and music — all raising feelings of allegiance and pride in America.  They partnered with Indiana Spirit of ‘45, a non-profit organization formed in 2010 to celebrate and honor those who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

Last year, Champlin said he tried to have the program in the gazebo on the square, but it rained, and the band had to bring the concert inside at the Barbara Jordan YMCA.

He has been a musician for 52 years, and said he wanted to present a Flag Day program because his father, Sylvanus, a farmer, World War II veteran, and Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient, was part of the Allied assault at Utah Beach, which began on “D-Day”, June 6, 1944, with Sergeant Champlin arriving on “Flag-Day”, June 14, 1944.  He felt compelled to honor his dad and other veterans with a patriotic-themed show.

      The Indiana National Guard presented the colors, followed by “The Star Spangled Banner”, as played by the Bugles Across America.

People sang along to old favorites such as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, “God Bless America” and some romantic favorites of the 1940s and ‘50s: “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “It’s Been A Long, Long Time.”  

      Holmes read the poem, “I Am Old Glory”. 
Pond read the “Ragged Old Flag,” a poem by country legend Johnny Cash, and recited Taps before it was played by Zondra Kale Griffin and Jim Martin of Bugles Across America.  The group plays for veteran events and military funerals.  Taps was first recognized by the Army in 1874, Champlin said, and began to be played at veterans’ funerals.

Champlin said his band rewrote the M.A.S.H. theme song “Suicide is Painless” by telling the tale of a new draftee going into camp, and the American Flag he swore to serve.  Champlin said M.A.S.H was first a book written by a surgeon who served in Korea.  Then it became a movie and popular TV show.

“The Ballad of the Green Berets” was part of the music selection and was popular during the Vietnam War era.  The program ended with the singing of “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Several Champlin family members served in the military, and Denny said he was caught up in the final draft lottery before it was eliminated.  He got a physical, but he was thin and didn’t weigh much.  The physician suggested he’d be better off playing the guitar rather than shoot a gun.  He actually played an electric guitar shaped like a machine gun at the show.

“They made 100 of these for the NRA (National Rifle Association) and 100 more for the public. I was on the waiting list, but finally got mine,” Champlin said, smiling.

He grew up in Martinsville and graduated from Martinsville High School in 1970.  His wife Jackie graduated in 1974.  She teaches third grade at Paragon Elementary.  Champlin also plays the bass, drums, and piano.  He learned through some lessons and picked up the rest on his own.

June 14 was chosen for Flag Day because in 1777, it was decided that the 13 new states needed their own flag — without any traces of British influence.  Betsy Ross sewed a sample, which was chosen to stand for the unity and resolve that characterizes American freedom.

“I’ve spent the last hour talking about patriotic stuff and no one has shot me for it,” Champlin said.  “I owe that freedom to those who paid the price.  As Americans, war touches all of us.”

The band is hopeful that next year, they can combine the program with a U.S. Flag retirement.

© Copyright 2016 Martinsville, Ind. Reporter-Times | Used by Permission


"Flag Retirement Ceremony" American Legion & Civil Air Patrol