| Founder’s Message – Bill H.R. 1034
| A quick update on the month. February was a month of continued momentum. Of the most significant, on February 13th I was privileged to present personalized flags to two very special Gold Star moms; Mrs. Barbara Calfee in honor of her son, PFC Jack W. Calfee, who was killed in Vietnam in June 1st 1968. And, to Mrs. Emogene Cupp in honor of her son, Cpl. Robert W. Cupp, also killed in Vietnam one week apart, June 6th 1968. Flags were presented amongst their peers at a national Gold Star mother’s BOD meeting. I wish there were more than words to express the emotion of a moment like this. Forty years later we specifically call attention to the honor due these fallen heroes. We continue to march forward taking up the challenge of remembering each military warrior individually by name.This was also the month that Randy Forbes re-introduced the Honor and Remember Bill in the House of Representatives, HR 1034. During my visit to Capitol Hill I was told that the bill is now in the Judiciary committee and with bi-partisan support from Bobby Scott, Rep from Virginia . We are extremely hopeful that we will soon see the bill reach the house floor. Also kudos to Sen Richard Burr from North Carolina as he is considering introducing similar legislation on the Senate side. We ask that you continue to write your congress and senate representatives. You can do this easily by clicking on this web site and sending them an email, an example can be found in our “Share the Vision” section:
Lastly I want to introduce you to Kevin Baker, a disabled gulf war veteran who has started on an amazing journey across the country on a bicycle. Without giving anything away you may read his story below and follow his progress on our website. Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he tests the limits of his physical ability in re cognition of Veteran’s issues and in remembrance of our fallen.
Thank you to all who continue to share our vision wherever you go.
| Our Hero’s Story – Tracy Bissonnette
|My 19-year-old son, Pfc. Brian Moquin was killed along with nine fellow soldiers on May 5, 2006 in Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed during combat operations in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was my only child.I recently received an email from the Gold Star Mothers organization regarding your petition for the Honor and Remember Flag. First, I would like to express how very sorry I am for the loss of your son. It will be three years for me this May and I know exactly how you feel. There is no greater loss than that of a child.
As I was reading your words, it was like rereading the same words that I have written many times myself. I worry that my son’s legacy will fade away in the minds of others. For me, that would be like mourning two deaths. An unbearable thought. Without hesitation, I signed your petition and also printed out the PDF version to have at my son’s third annual memorial Ride and Benefit, coming up on May 16th. I hope to get many signatures for your cause!
Since my son’s death, my goal has been to honor his memory and the memory of others by holding many benefits to raise money in scholarship funds for students where Brian attended school and also to donate to various veterans programs. This year we chose the Massachusetts Veterans Inc.
NOTE: Honor and Remember is looking for stories about the young men and women who have died serving our country, so that we can 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 share some 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
| Why I’m on Board – Kevin Baker
| My name is Kevin George Baker and I live in Norman, Oklahoma. I was in the Navy for almost four years. I served aboard the USS Hewitt DD-966 and was injured during the Persian Gulf War. I was assigned to firefighting in Kuwait, when a Scud missile hit our barracks. My injuries have left me neurological problems that have confined me to a wheelchair.On March 7, I began riding my hand-crank bicycle from Norman, Oklahoma to Washington D.C., then to Marseilles, Illinois and I will be flying the Honor and Remember Flag on my bike during the entire trip. I want people to see the flag and realize what it stands for. Perhaps our new president and the members of Congress will see me and realize that this is the flag that is being proposed as our national symbol to recognize the sacrifice of men and women who died in military service to America. Then I will meet up with Soldiers’ Angels, a support organization for United States military personnel, and will ride with a group of them to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
During my trip, I’m hoping to take a couple of days off so that I can visit my mother and grandparents in Danville, Virginia and go to the Danville Veterans Park, where there is a nice memorial and where I hope to have a long chat with my grandpa, who is a decorated WWII veteran. I also plan to pass through Virginia Beach so that I can visit with George Lutz, the founder of Honor and Remember.
My final destination is Marseilles, Illinois, where I’ll visit the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial, which is dedicated to military service members who died since 1979, including casualties from the Persian Gulf War and the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Members of a Gold Star family will transport me home to Oklahoma.
I’ve decided to call my effort the Ride of Pride Across America. I am proud to include the Honor and Remember Flag as part of my ride. I’m looking forward to answering the questions I will g et from people about the flag and explaining to young and old how it signifies the greatest sacrifice a person can make for their country. Kevin B.
NATIONAL FLAG TO HONOR AND REMEMBER
THOSE WHO DIED WHILE SERVING IN AMERICA’S MILITARY
WHEREAS, there has never been an officially recognized symbol that serves as a daily visible reminder for those who made the ultimate sacrifice; and
WHEREAS, an “Honor and Remember” flag has been created as a daily reminder for the American public to acknowledge the ultimate price of freedom; and
WHEREAS, the “Honor and Remember” flag will recognize, not only those killed in action during war, but all service members who died in the line of duty; and
WHEREAS, this flag will serve as a symbol of national gratitude, value each American life given for our freedom, and give comfort to the families who lost a loved one during military service; now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we support legislation to establish a national flag to honor and remember all who gave their lives in military service to this nation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we urge the Congress to adopt the flag created by the Honor and Remember organization to serve as the national flag.
I think this is a wonderful site. I just found out about this today and will research it more and be glad to support this cause. My father was a 3 time Vietnam Vet and I have a brother in law in Kuwait on his second tour right now. I appreciate seeing others support our men and woman that fight so courageously for our country and they deserve all the recognition they can get. Panama City, FL
I served under the U.S. flag for 28 years in the US Navy and feel this effort is very noble. All veterans should add their support. Quitman, GA