Ind. Disabled Veteran Flies U.S. Flag Upside Down In Indy

By Julie Pursley - RTV6
By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Ind. Disabled Veteran Flies U.S. Flag Upside Down In Indy

October 1, 2013 Updated Oct 1, 2013 at 4:14 PM EDT

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (RTV6) -- A disabled veteran expressed his disappointment in the federal government shutdown by holding a U.S. flag upside down along a busy street.

Joseph Lohman, 25, of Beech Grove, said he stood in full uniform on a sidewalk along Emerson Avenue near Interstate 465 for more than 12 hours.

Lohman said that when the government shutdown started early Tuesday, he decided holding the flag upside down would be a way to express his concern about what the shutdown will mean for veterans, their checks and health care.

"I'm not protesting. I'm just standing up for what's right," Lohman said. "With the government shutdown, the flag is flown upside down to show that America is in distress, and we are."

While RTV6 talked with Lohman, several people stopped to show support.

"I've been in war. I'm a Vietnam vet. I'm 80 percent disabled. I have an artificial body part," said Terry Bellner, who choked back tears while expressing support for Lohman. "To do that, it takes, I wish I had the nerve to do that."

Lohman said he served in the Marine Corps from 2008 to 2012 and that he was injured during a training exercise and needs surgery.

Lohman added that a few people stopped by to speak out against his actions and that he told them he was exercising his right as an American.

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