Honor and Remember Dispatch – April 2009, Vol 2 Issue 4

  Founder’s Message  – Kevin Baker

Among the many accomplishments this month for Honor and Remember, we reached two significant milestones, when the Virginia cities of Chesapeake and Norfolk officially endorsed and adopted the Honor and Remember flag by resolution. It is our hope that city by city and state by state supporters across America will encourage their leaders to adopt similar resolutions. With local endorsements we will continue to build the grassroots support necessary to create national attention and gain final approval of bill HR 1034 now before Congress.

March was a significant month for Honor and Remember, yet great success was accompanied by extreme sadness. Last month, we featured Kevin Baker, our friend and disabled Gulf War veteran. He was beginning a 2400-mile trek on a hand-powered bicycle to carry the Honor and Remember around the country. His hope was to create national awareness by visiting small towns along his route and by stopping at the Capitol and the White House in hopes of garnering awareness and support. Kevin began his journey on Saturday, March 7 with very little fanfare but with a determination and passion few of us have ever experienced. Kevin’s story was posted in our last newsletter in the “Why I’m on Board.” section.
Kevin proceeded as planned, gaining attention from local media along his route. His initial interview appeared in the Norman Dispatch in Oklahoma and later on KXII Newsin Dallas. As you would expect, he met many new friends, including several state troopers who pulled him over just to check him out. Kevin was loved by everyone who knew him and he left a positive impression on the many lives he touched.On March 13, just six days into his ride, Kevin passed away. Local friends had picked him up when the weather turned cold, and he was hoping to continue from a more southern route in Louisiana. He enjoyed a normal day, had dinner, watched television and went to sleep. He never woke up. Kevin had overcome enormous physical obstacles since his injury in 1992, including a severe head injury, seizures and even lymphoma. In the end, his passion for his mission far outweighed any selfish considerations.Kevin and I talked every day prior to his journey. Each conversation began with a countdown until his scheduled start. He was as enthusiastic as I have ever seen anyone and very childlike in his excitement. He literally gave his life for the Honor and Remember Flag campaign. There are no words to bring him back, but he followed a dream with a purpose few of us can imagine. We remember him with the same honor and respect he so freely extended to his fellow veterans, both living and deceased. We will be making a special presentation to his mother and his friends at a planned ceremony on June 19 at the Illinois Freedom Runin Marseilles, IL.I continue to thank you all for what you are doing to make continuous national remembrance for our fallen military heroes a reality. Please read my blog to get more significant details on the many lives touched in month of March.

God Bless,

  Our Hero’s Story – Patti Bager
I think the Honor and Remember Flag and what it stands for is a wonderful and long overdue tribute to all the fallen soldiers and the families they have left behind.  The military often does an emotionally charged tribute at the funeral of the fallen hero, with the flag, the honor guard, the gun salute, etc. But very quickly the community that rallied behind the family to show their support returns to life as normal, while the family left behind struggles to cope with such an enormous loss.Does the pain ever really end?  We lost our son, Captain Robert Bager, in 2005 at the age of 25.  He suffered a horrific injury in a railhead accident en route to a training mission in Germany, just after returning safely from a tour in Baghdad, Iraq, with the First Armored Division. He was medivacked to Brooke Army Medical Center and ultimately lost his battle to live after three and a half months in the Burn ICU.  We were by his side every moment of his valiant fight to live.Sometimes, in their zeal to keep war casualty numbers to a minimum, the military forgets about the many young men and women who lose their lives on their way to or from the battlefronts or in training accidents. Though not in the actual battle zones, these are nevertheless dangerous situations. My son is no less a hero than any of those who lost their lives elsewhere. He served our nation with pride and honor, and yet he and many others who died while serving remain unrecognized, except by those who knew them personally.So I want to thank you and your group for honoring ALL those who lost their lives serving our country. We will all grieve their loss forever.NOTE: Honor and Remember is looking for positive stories about the young men and women who have died serving our country. We would like to share them in this newsletter and on a special page on our web site. The stories should be about 300 – 400 words in length and contain insights that capture the individual’s personality, a celebration of their life and experiences in service, etc. We want to present a snapshot of our young heroes … who they were and how those who loved them remember.

*** Please send to contact@honorandremember.org

  Why I’m on Board – Mike McQueen  
I believe the purpose of the Honor and Remember flag is to remind a complacent public that there is a reason the American flag still flies. It is the members of our active duty military and our military veterans, as well as their parents, wives, husbands and family members, who have fought for our nation and made the sacrifices to keep us free. The Honor and Remember Flag is a tangible reminder of the men and women who gave their lives so that Old Glory, the flag they fought for, would keep flying.That’s why I ask all veterans groups and associations to support the Honor and Remember cause. That support can come in many forms. You can encourage your Congressional representatives to get behind a bill that is now before Congress (HR 1034) to adopt the flag as a national symbol. You can tell your friends about the cause and encourage them to make a personal donation or become a corporate sponsor. One day, we will see the Honor and Remember flag flying in its rightful place below the flag of the United States of America as a constant reminder of the shed blood, lives lost and prices paid to keep the Stars and Stripes at the top of the pole. I am also actively trying to get my state of Texas to adopt the Honor and Remember flag as an approved symbol, so that it will fly along with our state flag.Why do we need the Honor and Remember flag? Doesn’t the American flag serve the same purpose? No. The only other nationally recognized flag is the POW/MIA flag, which relates specifically to prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action from the Vietnam War. Yes, there are other service flags that represent various branches of the military, but there is no national symbol that speaks for all military servicemen and servicewoman who gave their lives for America. The American flag is our national emblem, the symbol of our country. It is the flag those brave men and women died for. It is the flag their loved ones received at their memorial service, to be kept folded in a case, as a tribute to that individual life lost. The Honor and Remember flag is meant to be flown! The red field of the Honor and Remember flag honors the red stripes in the American flag, which stand for valor. The Honor and Remember flag is a statement that millions of Americans have stood together for a single cause, under a single banner to protect the concepts of freedom and democracy, and that some have given their all. Thank you… MM


I am a Gold Star Mom and lost my son Sgt Robert Daniel Rogers in 2007 he served in Itay and died in a black hawk crash along 5 others. We are honored to have the gold star family license plate but how wonderful for my 6 year old grandson to actually have a flag honoring his fallen dad. God bless you thank you and God bless America.  Sierra Vista, AZ

First of all let me say thank you for what you are doing, there are no words to express what this means to all of us. We have all lost friends and family serving in our great military and for this flag flying high means the world. once again thank you. Virginia Beach, VA

I was watching the news and saw this flag. This is so AWESOME and I want EVERY government agency to adopt and fly this flag. What a wonderful way to continually acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice that our military man and women have made.   Newport News, VA

Thank you for designing this flag! It represents everything that it’s meaning stands for…the fallen warriors of all wars and times. We never want our son (Sgt John E Allen, KIA 17March 2007), or any other son or daughter, to be forgotten. He stood and fought for our freedoms, unselfishly, just like all of the other fallen warriors. He was a wonderfully, artistic soul. A Medic with the 2-12 Cav, 1st Division, out of Ft. Bliss…. he loved his job until the end! May God Bless you, George, for working so hard to get this done!  Palmdale, CA