Honor and Remember Dispatch – February 2009, Vol 2 Issue 2

Founder’s Message

I am taking a portion of my message to recognize Gold Star mom Mrs. Mollie Snyder. She passed away this week, Feb 8th in Wernersville PA. Mollie was the oldest living member of the American Gold Star mothers, she was 99. She lost her precious son Pfc Walter H. Snyder Jr. on the 8th of December, 1950 in Korea. Since that tragic day, she has worked tirelessly over the
years to bring genuine comfort to generations of hurting Gold Star families, as well as playing a major role in veterans care around her community and beyond.

Honor and Remember had been preparing a special flag in her honor, and in tribute to Walter, that we hoped to soon place in her hands. Unfortunately God’s timing always supersedes our own. Although we are not able to personally present this gift we know that the joy of creating it for her will touch many many lives in the future. We thank you Mollie for all you have meant to so many and for the ultimate sacrifice you have endured for a price called freedom. ******

The speed at which we are growing is phenomenal. Every day I receive encouraging letters from Gold Star families, veterans and organizations who have caught the vision for Honor and Remember and are sincerely grateful for this campaign. Despite the breadth of this movement, we still have so very far to go. You may recall that in late October we were honored to be mentioned on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News program with the help of Dennis Miller. This mention resonated strongly with Mr. O’Reilly’s audience and produced a tremendous response on our web site. As we move into 2009, we need to encourage even broader national exposure. There are dozens of local and national talk show programs whose hosts continue to speak positively about our military. Yet unless there is a recent death there is very little mention of our fallen heroes being recogniz ed.

Since October, I have had some favorable interaction with national personalities, including Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and Oliver North. We even shipped Sean Hannity his own Honor and Remember Flag. Many other local and national media figures are at least aware of our campaign, but “no on air” attention. However, with your help we can ramp up our outreach and get the attention that Honor and Remember needs and deserves.

Many of you have already contacted your House and Senate representatives soliciting their support for Bill H R 7111. Thank you for your efforts and please keep in touch with them until legislation is passed to officially recognize the flag as a national symbol. Now I’d like to challenge everyone who receives this newsletter to make a similar effort with local and national media.

Please consider making a call to local and national radio and TV programs or writing a letter or sending email to media personalities or reporters that you admire. Respectfully ask them to give Honor and Remember some exposure on their shows and in their publications. These celebrities have the ears of millions of Americans who have yet to hear about this remembrance campaign. Even one mention on a national show or in a national publication could give a tremendous boost to our grassroots movement to have the Honor and Remember Flag officially recognized and to put a personalized flag in the hands of Gold Star parents.

Here is a link that will help you locate many major personalities, such as Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Dennis Miller, Oprah, Gary Sinese, Alan Combs, Rush Limbaugh, Clark Howard, Mike Huckabee, Neil Boortz and many more: www.talkshowhosts.com/outsourcing.html

Thank you in advance for any effort you can make to spread the word. I truly believe that our national campaign will soon reach a “tipping point” w hen recognition of the Honor and Remember mission will explode. Your added efforts will play a critical role in the success of our goals.

Finally, as we near Valentine’s day this weekend, our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who find, through their loss, this a very difficult day to overcome.

God Bless
George

Our Heroes Story

My son, Cpl. Cody A. Putman had returned from a successful mission and was asleep for just a few hours when a suicide bomber drove a truck into his unit’s Bagdad compound. When the bomb exploded, the building where Cody was sleeping collapsed and he was crushed. That was April 12, 2007. Cody’s death came just 12 days after he returned to Iraq from a visit home. We were blessed to have spent nearly three wonderful weeks with him. After his death, we received many letters from members of his unit and others who knew him telling us what a great soldier he was. They said that even though he was a radio man and driver, Cody often did things that were above and beyond the call of duty.

I absolutely love and admire what you have started, and I will share it with our local Gold Star Mother Chapter, which we are just starting here in Indiana. I’m going to recommend that sharing this information become one of our missions this spring. I also will forward this information to everyone I know.

One thing that became so clear to me as our community honored my son was a question: How did the families of those who were killed in the Vietnam era cope? They didn’t receive the honor my son and our family received. I can’t imagine what that families in that era went through at that time, but I do know they are still experiencing the pain, as we are. It never goes away.

Please let me know if I can be an Indiana connection for this wonderful project. I will share this information with as many people as I possibly can. Thank you for all that you are doing. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m going to order my flag this week and many of the other items for my family. Love, Pamela Mow

*** If you have a story about a fallen hero that you would like to share, please send it to contact@honorandremember.org

Why I’m on Board – Don Belew  

I will never forget the day that the Honor and Remember Flag was presented to honor the life and death of Lt. Jeremy Wise at Oceana air base in Norfolk, Virginia. The colors of the American flag and Navy flags flew high. There was a large group of motorcycles and vehicles of the Patriot Guard Riders, an extremely dedicated veteran and civilian organization formed to honor and remember, as well as promote peace and solitude during the funerals of men and women who died for this great country.

This was a sacred day that shook my soul. I cannot get out of my mind the pain I saw in the eyes of Lt. Wise’s wife, knowing that she and her family were suffering with the realization that Lt. Wise would never come home to play with his son, eat the Thanksgiving Day meal or sing praises to God at their church. Many, many civilians attended the funeral, as well as fellow naval air officers, who paid quiet respect to their fallen comrade. A formal 21-gun salute echoed through the base as I watched over and over the empty bullet casings fall to the ground.

As the military and civilian mourners looked upon the casket of Lt. Wise, I noticed several that also looked upon the Honor and Remember Flag with reverent silence and respect. During several moments of conversation with both officers and Patriot riders, I sensed a newfound respect for the flag that was standing as a noticeable symbol of Lt. Wise’s ultimate sacrifice. Many of the Patriot Guard Riders expressed their feelings of honor to finally see and hold this flag.

There were a few people who were unsure about the meaning of the Honor and Remember Flag. They wondered how it was meant to be perceived. Was it supposed to replace “Old Glory?” But it didn’t take long for them to realize that it only compliments the US flag and perfectly symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice made by Lt. Wise to keep it flying!

It wasn’t until the missing man formation of F18 Hornets flew over that my knees began to buckle. All I could think of was how blessed I was to stand at attention with so many honorable U.S. veterans. I will always thank my dad for raising me to respect our country and its military. And I am grateful that I have been able to be a supporter who has signed the petition to get the Honor and Remember Flag nationally recognized.

Recent News and Comments

Thank you for continuing to help us remember all of our fallen heroes. I lost my son, Lcpl. Brian Hopper, in Iraq on Jan. 26, 2005 and we miss him terribly. I plan on flying this flag on all Patriot Guard Rider Missions. Thanks again. Wynne, AR

I think this is wonderful. I am so worried that people are going to forget my son. We have put up a flag of the USA in our front yard and friends had his favorite tree planted in our front yard. We had a marker made to go at the bottom of the tree. Thank you for all you do. Christiansburg, VA

What an incredible thing you are doing. This is a great idea, to have a way to every day remember the fallen heroes of our country. I am a veteran of Vietnam and think of the men lost there often. I will be signing the petition and calling my senators and representatives to endorse Bill H.R.7111. Gulfport, MS