November 2012 Casualties

Fifteen Heroes gave their lives for our country this month

Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. Kantor, 22, of Gillette, N.J.
Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne, 29, of Port Henry, N.Y.
Spc. Ryan P. Jayne, 22, of Campbell, N.Y.
Spc. Brett E. Gornewicz, 27, of Alden, N.Y.
Pfc. Brandon L. Buttry, 19, of Shenandoah, Iowa
Spc. Daniel L. Carlson, 21, of Running Springs, Calif.
Staff Sgt. Kenneth W. Bennett, 26, of Glendora, Calif.
Capt. James D. Nehl, 37, of Gardiner, Ore
Sgt. Matthew H. Stiltz, 26, of Spokane, Wash
Staff Sgt. Rayvon Battle Jr., 25, of Rocky Mount, N.C.
Sgt. Channing B. Hicks, 24, of Greer, S.C.
Spc. Joseph A. Richardson, 23, of Booneville, Ark
Lance Cpl. Dale W. Means, 23, of Jordan, Minn
Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin R. Ebbert, 32, of Arcata, Calif.
Cpl. Christopher M. Monahan Jr., 25, of Island Heights, N.J.

October 2012 Casualties

Seventeen lives given for our country this month.

Sgt. Thomas J. Butler IV, 25, of Wilmington, N.C.
Sgt. Jeremy F. Hardison, 23, of Maysville, N.C.
Sgt. Donna R. Johnson, 29, of Raeford, N.C.
Sgt. 1st Class Aaron A. Henderson, 33, of Houlton, Maine
Sgt. Camella M. Steedley, 31, of San Diego, Calif
Warrant Officer Joseph L. Schiro, 27, of Coral Springs, Fla.
Staff Sgt. Justin C. Marquez, 25, of Aberdeen, N.C.
Sgt. Thomas R. Macpherson, 26, of Long Beach, Ca
Sgt. 1st Class Ryan J. Savard, 29, of Sierra Vista, Ariz
Cmdr. Joel Del Mundo Tiu, 49, of Manila, Philippines
Spc. Brittany B. Gordon, 24, of St. Petersburg, Fla
Sgt. Robert J. Billings, 30, of Clarksville, Va
Pfc. Shane G. Wilson, 20, of Kuna, Idaho
Chief Warrant Officer Michael S. Duskin, 42, of Orange Park, Fla
Staff Sgt.  Kashif  M. Memon, 31, of Houston, Texas
Sgt. Clinton K. Ruiz, 22, of Murrieta, Calif
Cpl. Alex F. Domion, 21, of Richfield Springs, N.Y

September 2012 Casualties

Nineteen lives given for our country this month.

Spc. Kyle R. Rookey, 23, of Oswego, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Jeremie S. Border, 28, of Mesquite, Texas
Staff Sgt. Jonathan P. Schmidt, 28, of Petersburg, Va.
Lance Cpl. Alec R. Terwiske, 21, of Dubois, Ind
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, of Houston, Texas
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas
Sgt. Kyle B. Osborn, 26, of Lafayette, Ind.
Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, 40, of North Huntingdon, Pa.
Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, 27, of Kokomo, Ind
Sgt. Sapuro B. Nena, 25, of Honolulu
Spc. Joshua N. Nelson, 22, Greenville, N.C.
Pfc. Genaro Bedoy, 20, of Amarillo, Texas
Pfc. Jon R. Townsend, 19, Claremore, Okla.
Sgt. Jason M. Swindle, 24, of Cabot, Ark
Gunners Mate 2nd Class Dion R. Roberts, 25, of North Chicago, Ill.
Staff Sgt. Orion N. Sparks, 29, of Tucson, Ariz.
Sgt. Jonathan A. Gollnitz, 28, of Lakehurst, N.J.
Sgt. 1st Class Riley G. Stephens, 39, of Tolar, Texas
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel T. Metcalfe, 29, of Liverpool, N.Y

August 2012 Casualties

Thirty Nine lives given for our country this month.

Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Wing, 42, of Alexandria, VA
Sgt. Christopher J. Birdwell, 25, of Windsor, CO
Spc. Mabry J. Anders, 21, of Baker City, OR
Pfc. Patricia L. Horne, 20, of Greenwood, MS
Sgt. Louis R. Torres, 23, of Oberlin, OH
Sgt. David V. Williams, 24, of Frederick, MD
Sgt. 1st Class Coater B. Debose, 55, of State Line, MS
Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby, 37, of Melbourne, FL
Chief Warrant Officer Suresh N. A. Krause, 29, of Cathedral City, CA
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer Technician 1st Class Sean P. Carson, 32, of Des Moines, WA
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, of Edgewater, MD
Sgt. Richard A. Essex, 23, of Kelseyville, CA
Sgt. Luis A. Oliver Galbreath, 41, of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen, 27, of Kentwood, MI
Staff Sgt. Gregory T. Copes, 36, of Lynch Station, VA
Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer 1st Class Darrel L. Enos, 36, of Colorado Springs, CO
Spc.  James A. Justice, 21, of Grover, N.C
Pfc. Michael R. Demarsico II, of North Adams, MA
Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, 39, of Evans City, PA
Pfc. Andrew J. Keller, 22, of Tigard, OR
Staff Sgt. Scott E. Dickinson, 29, of San Diego, CA
Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr., 20 of Ventura, CA
Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley, 21, of Oceanside, N.Y.
Capt. Matthew P. Manoukian, 29, of Los Altos Hills, CA
Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Jeschke, 31, of Herndon, VA
Staff Sgt. Sky R. Mote, 27, of El Dorado, CA
Master Sgt. Gregory R. Trent, 38, of Norton, MA
Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, N.Y.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, of Laramie, WY
Spc. Ethan J. Martin, 22, of Lewiston, ID
Maj. Walter D. Gray, 38, of Conyers, GA
Petty Officer 3rd Class Clayton R. Beauchamp, of Weatherford, TX
Cpl. Daniel L. Linnabary II, 23, of Hubert, N.C
1st Sgt. Russell R. Bell, 37, of Tyler, TX
Staff Sgt. Matthew S. Sitton, 26, of Largo, FL
1st Lt. Todd W. Lambka, 25, of Fraser, MI
Pfc. Jesus J. Lopez, 22, of San Bernardino, CA
Spc. Kyle B. McClain, 25, of Rochester Hills, MI
Lance Cpl. Curtis J. Duarte, 22, of Covina, CA

Reflections on Remembering

Honor and Remember Dispatch – August 2012

You may think the timing on this message is a bit odd, but I have purposely waited to send it for the reason I hope will make sense as you read further.  As we work our way through the remaining month of summer, I can’t help but think about the wonderful times I spent with my family in summers past. For us, summer was a time of swim team, baseball, camping and vacations. My children enjoyed the freedom that came with the summer recess from school. Memorial Day was always an important point on the calendar because it meant the start of summer vacation was not far off, another day off to sleep, another excuse to eat. I believe I was a typical everyday American.

Memorial Day means something quite different to me now. Besides birthdays and anniversaries, it may be the hardest day of the year. When my oldest son Tony was killed by a sniper’s bullet in Iraq on December 29, 2005, he was a young husband and father with his whole life ahead of him. During the months afterward, I searched for the appreciation and recognition of a grateful nation. Sadly, nothing existed than anyone could use to make a positive statement and even Memorial Day was not used as intended. It had simply become another patriotic holiday.  To the Gold Star families of our fallen, every day is Memorial Day, and if that day is not a widely observed time of remembrance, how can the day after or two months later be?

A few years after Tony’s death, I sought to fill that void in America’s consciousness by creating the Honor and Remember Flag and launching an organization in order to provide a way for Americans to consistently pay tribute to our fallen heroes from every generation more than once a year. Each Memorial Day since then I have participated in a ceremony somewhere in America where our military fallen were saluted as a group. However, Memorial Day always leaves me feeling emotionally drained and dissatisfied, because the general focus is never on the fallen, but patriotism overall. Unless I am participating with the military or the veterans, I have never publicly heard one name mentioned of the close to 400 military casualties that have occurred just over the last 12 months, on a day set aside for that very purpose.

Of course, it is important to set aside at least one day to recognize the sacrifice that men and women in our military have made to preserve the freedoms we cherish. But we must take advantage of it. For many Americans, Memorial Day is just a day off from work and school … a day for barbecues and sales at the mall. For families who have not lost a loved one in military service, honoring and remembering the fallen may not happen at all. In fact, one recent survey revealed that 80 percent of those polled didn’t know what Memorial Day is about.

Death is a discomforting subject for most of us to contemplate or talk about. But when there is a knock on your door one day and you learn that you will never see a child, spouse or parent again because he or she has died in service to America, death takes on a new role in your life. It occupies an empty chair at the holiday table. It hovers over family celebrations. It intrudes on your dreams many years after your loved one has been gone. It has a hold on your life every day.

Gold Star Family members are all around us, but for the most part you have no idea who they are. They don’t wear a uniform, an organization hat or a medal. They generally have no connection to the military or associated activities. They go unseen and unnoticed because they are lost in a blend of Americans. Yet they drive by your house or business every day. If they don’t want you to find them, you never will. So how can you thank them, appreciate them or love them for what they have sacrificed? The precious life that has been taken from them cannot be replaced. But those families can receive the open recognition they deserve beyond solemn words spoken on Memorial Day.

A silent message can be spoken and that life can be celebrated with a tangible symbol that reminds us that Americans have fought many battles to preserve our way of life. And those conflicts have cost us much. The Honor and Remember organization and the Honor and Remember Flag were created to pay tribute to the individuals who died and provide a visible “Thank You” to those who must go on without them.

Labor Day is coming up. For most of us, it’s another holiday that means a day off from work, rather than a day to honor the working men and women of our nation. It’s an unfortunate truth that most of our holidays have lost their original meaning for many. Thanksgiving means a big dinner and college football games. Christmas means lots of gifts. And so, Memorial Day will remain for many just a day for cookouts.

But the Honor and Remember Flag and the Honor and Remember mission will always be about giving recognition and thanks to the families of each man and woman who bled and died so that our nation would remain strong … the land of the free because of the brave.

Can we take back Memorial Day? Possibly, However, together we can display silent words of thanks louder than thunder.  Fly the Honor and Remember Flag and join us in this tribute to all our heroes and the Gold Star families that produced them!

Blessings, George

July 2012 Casualties

Forty Two lives given for our country this month.

Pfc. Cody O. Moosman, 24, of Preston, Idaho
Capt. Bruce A. MacFarlane, 46, of Oviedo, Florida
Staff Sgt. Raul M. Guerra, 37, of Union City, N.J
Spc. Jonathan Batista, 22, of Kinnelon, N.J
Cpl. Juan P. Navarro, 23, of Austin, Texas
Staff Sgt. Ricardo Seija, 31, of Tampa, Fla.
Spc. Erica P. Alecksen, 21, of Eatonton, Ga.
Spc. Clarence Williams III, 23, of Brooksville, Fla.
Pfc. Trevor B. Adkins, 21, of Spring Lake, N.C.
Pfc. Alejandro J. Pardo, 21, of Porterville, Calif.
Pfc. Cameron J. Stambaugh, 20, of Spring Grove, Pa.
Spc. Sterling W. Wyatt, 21, of Columbia, Mo
Sgt. Michael E. Ristau, 25, of Rockford, Ill
Staff Sgt. Carl E. Hammar, 24, of Lake Havasu City, Ariz
Sgt. Erik N. May, 26, of Independence, Kan
Spc. Sergio E. Perez Jr., 21, of Crown Point, Ind.
Spc. Nicholas A. Taylor, 20, of Berne, Ind.
Sgt. Daniel A. Rodriguez, 28, of Baltimore, Md.
Sgt. Jose J. Reyes, 24, San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico
Cpl. Joshua R. Ashley, 23, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif
Spc. Krystal M. Fitts, 26, of Houston, Texas
Chief Naval Aircrewman Sean P. Sullivan, 40, of St. Louis, Mo.
Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Joseph P. Fitzmorris, 31, of Ruston, La.
Pfc. Jeffrey L. Rice, 24, of Troy, Ohio
Spc. Darrion T. Hicks, 21, of Raleigh, N.C
Staff Sgt. Brandon R. Pepper, 31, of York, Pa
Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael J. Brodsky, 33, of Tamarac, Fla.
Pfc. Julian L. Colvin, 21, of Birmingham, Ala.
Staff Sgt. Richard L. Berry, 27, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Sgt. Eric E. Williams, 27, of Murrieta, Calif.
Pfc. Adam C. Ross, 19, of Lyman, S.C.
Spc. Justin L. Horsley, 21, of Palm Bay, Fla.
Pfc. Brenden N. Salazar, 20, of Chuluota, Fla.
Sgt. Justin M. Hansen, 26, of Traverse City, Mich
Pfc. Theodore M. Glende, 23, of Rochester, N.Y.
Sgt. 1st Class Bobby L. Estle, 38, of Lebanon, Ohio
Pfc. Jose Oscar Belmontes, 28, of La Verne, Calif.
Spc. Benjamin C. Pleitez, 25, of Turlock, Calif.
1st Lt. Sean R. Jacobs, 23, of Redding, Calif.
Sgt. John E. Hansen, 41, of Austin, Texas
Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan W. Gifford, 34, of Palm Bay, Fla.
Gunnery Sgt. Daniel J. Price, 27, of Holland, Mich

June 2012 Casualties

Twenty Eight lives given for our country this month

Spc. Gerardo Campos, 23, of Miami, Fla
Pfc. Vincent J. Ellis, 22, of Tokyo, Japan
Capt. Scott P. Pace, 33, of Brawley, Calif.
1st Lt. Mathew G. Fazzari, 25, of Walla Walla, Wash.
Cpl. Anthony R. Servin, 22, of Moreno Valley, Calif
Pfc. Brandon D. Goodine, 20, of Luthersville, Ga
Master Chief Petty Officer Richard J. Kessler Jr., 47, of Gulfport, Fla.
Pfc. Nathan T. Davis, 20, Yucaipa, Calif.
Spc. Bryant J. Luxmore, 25, New Windsor, Ill
Cpl. Taylor J. Baune, 21, of Andover, Minn
Sgt. 1st Class Barett W. McNabb, 33, of Chino Valley, Ariz
Sgt. Nicholas C. Fredsti, 30, of San Diego, Calif.
Sgt. Joseph M. Lilly, 25, of Flint, Mich.
Spc. Trevor A. Pinnick, 20, of Lawrenceville, Ill.
Pfc. Jarrod A. Lallier, 20, of Spokane, Wash
1st Lt. Ryan D. Rawl, 30, Lexington, S.C.
Sgt. 1st Class Matthew B. Thomas, 30, Travelers Rest, S.C.
Spc. John D. Meador II, 36, Columbia, S.C.
Sgt. Jose Rodriguez, 22, of Gustine, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Eugene C. Mills III, 21, of Laurel, Md.
Maj. Paul C. Voelke, 36, of Monroe, N.Y.
Pfc. Steven P. Stevens II, 23, of Tallahassee, Fla.
Lance Cpl. Niall W. Coti-Sears, 23, of Arlington, Va
Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Leach, 29, of Ferndale, Mich
1st Lt. Stephen C. Prasnicki, 24, of Lexington, Va
Sgt. James L. Skalberg Jr., 25, of Cullman, Ala.
Staff Sgt. Robert A. Massarelli, 32, of Hamilton, Ohio
Sgt. Michael J. Strachota, 28, of White Hall, Ark.

May 2012 Casualties

Forty One lives given for our country this month

Capt. Bruce K. Clark, 43, Spencerport, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Zachary H. Hargrove, 32, of Wichita, Kan
Master Sgt. Gregory L. Childs, 38, Warren, Ark
Sgt. John P. Huling, 25, of West Chester, Ohio
Staff Sgt. Thomas K. Fogarty, 30, of Alameda, Calif
2nd Lt. David E. Rylander, 23, of Stow, Ohio
Spc. Junot M. L. Cochilus, 34, of Charlotte, N.C.
Sgt. Jacob M. Schwallie, 22, of Clarksville, Tenn.
Spc. Chase S. Marta, 24, of Chico, Calif.
Pfc. Dustin D. Gross, 19, of Jeffersonville, Ky.
Petty Officer Second Class Jorge Luis Velasquez, 35, of Houston
1st Lt. Alejo R. Thompson, 30, of Yuma, Ariz
Sgt. Wade D. Wilson, 22, of Normangee, Texas
SSpc.Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, 21, of Salinas, Calif.
Spc. Alex Hernandez III, 21, of Round Rock, Texas
Sgt. Brian L. Walker, 25, of Lucerne Valley, Calif.
Pfc. Richard L. McNulty III, 22, Rolla, Mo.
Staff Sgt. Israel P. Nuanes, 38, of Las Cruces, N.M.
Sgt. Michael J. Knapp, 28, of Overland Park, Kan.
Sgt. Jabraun S. Knox, 23, of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Capt. Jesse A. Ozbat, 28, of, Prince George, Va.
2nd Lt. Tobias C. Alexander, 30, of Lawton, Okla.
Spc. Arronn D. Fields, 27, of Terre Haute, Ind
2nd Lt. Travis A. Morgado, 25, of San Jose, Calif.
Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan J. Wilson, 26, of Shasta, Calif
Pfc. Cale C. Miller, 23, of Overland Park, Kan
Cpl. Keaton G. Coffey, 22, of Boring, Ore
Hospitalman Eric D. Warren, of Shawnee, Okla.
Spc. Vilmar Galarza Hernandez, 21, of Salinas, Calif.
Spc. Tofiga J. Tautolo, 23, of Wilmington, Calif.
Capt. John R. Brainard, 26, of Dover-Foxcroft, Maine
Chief Warrant Officer Five John C. Pratt, 51, of Springfield, Va.
Sgt. Julian C. Chase, 22, of Edgewater, Md.
Lance Cpl. Steven G. Sutton, 24, of Leesburg, Ga
Cpl. Nicholas H. Olivas, 20, of Fairfield, Ohio
Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean E. Brazas, of Greensboro, N.C
Staff Sgt. Roberto Loeza, 28, of El Paso, Texas
Staff Sgt. Alexander G. Povilaitis, 47, of Dawsonville, Ga
Spc. Kedith L. Jacobs, 21, of Denver, Colo
Pfc. Leroy Deronde III, 22, Jersey City, New Jersey
Lance Cpl. Joshua E. Witsman, 23, of Covington, Ind.

April 2012 Casualties

Thirty Four lives given for our country this month

Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Brown, 26, of Columbus, Ohio
Cpl. Christopher D. Bordoni, 21, of Ithaca, N.Y.
Capt. Nicholas J. Rozanski, 36, of Dublin, Ohio
Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey J. Rieck, 45, of Columbus, Ohio
Sgt. 1st Class Shawn T. Hannon, 44, of Grove City, Ohio
Cpl. Alex Martinez, 21, of Elgin, Il
Spc. Jeffrey L. White, Jr., 21, of Catawissa, Mo
Spc. Antonio C. Burnside, 31, of Great Falls, Mont.
Staff Sgt. Tyler J. Smith, 24, of Licking, Mo
Constructionman Trevor J. Stanley, 22, of Virginia Beach, Va
Lance Cpl. Ramon T. Kaipat, 22, of Tacoma, Wash
Spc. Philip C. S. Schiller, 21, of The Colony, Texas
Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, 25, Providence, R.I
Sgt. Tanner S. Higgins, 23, of Yantis, Texas
Staff Sgt. David P. Nowaczyk, 32, of Dyer, Ind
Cpl. Aaron M. Faust, 22, Louisville, Ky
Staff Sgt. Joseph H. Fankhauser, 30, of Mason, Texas
1st Lt. Jonathan P. Walsh, 28, Cobb, Ga.
Pfc. Michael J. Metcalf, 22, Boynton Beach, Fla.
Chief Warrant Officer Nicholas S. Johnson, 27, of San Diego, Calif.
Chief Warrant Officer Don C. Viray, 25, of Waipahu, Hawaii
Sgt. Chris J. Workman, 33, of Boise, Idaho
Sgt. Dean R. Shaffer, 23, of Pekin, Ill.
Spc. Manuel J. Vasquez, 22, of West Sacramento, Calif
Spc. Jason K. Edens, 22, of Franklin, Tenn
Spc. Moises J. Gonzalez, 29, Huntington, Calif
Lt. Christopher E. Mosko, 28, of Pittsford, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Brandon F. Eggleston, 29, of Candler, N.C
Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr., 31, of Orange Park, Fla.,
Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Brittonmihalo, 25, of Simi Valley, Calif
Master Sgt. Scott E. Pruitt, 38, of Gautier, Miss
Pfc. Christian R. Sannicolas, 20, Anaheim, Calif
Sgt. Nicholas M. Dickhut, 23, of Rochester, Minn

March 2012 Casualties

Nineteen lives given for our country this month

Cpl. Conner T. Lowry, 24, of Chicago, Ill
Staff Sgt. Jordan L. Bear, 25, of Denver, Colo.
Pfc. Payton A. Jones, 19, of Marble Falls, Texas
Spc. Edward J. Acosta, 21, of Hesperia, Calif.
Staff Sgt. Jesse J. Grindey, 30, of Hazel Green, Wis.
Spc. Daquane D. Rivers, 21, of Marianna, Fla.
2nd Lt. Clovis T. Ray, 34, of San Antonio, Texas
Sgt. Jamie D. Jarboe, 27, of Frankfort, Ind.
Spc. Dennis P. Weichel Jr., 29, of Providence, R.I.
Capt. Aaron D. Istre, 37, of Vinton, La.
Sgt. Daniel J. Brown, 27, of Jerome, Idaho
Sgt. William R. Wilson III, of Getzville, N.Y.
Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, 29, of Waldwick, N.J.
Capt. Francis D. Imlay, 31, of Vacaville, Calif.
Pfc. Johnathon F. Davis, 20, of Griffin, Ga.
Cpl. Roberto Cazarez, 24, of Harbor City, Calif.
Spc. David W. Taylor, 20, of Dixon, Ky.
Spc. James E. Dutton, 25, of Checotah, Okla
Cpl. Michael J. Palacio, 23, of Lake Elsinore, Calif.

April 2012 – Sponsorship

Sponsorship – We Need Your Help

As Memorial Day 2012 approaches, exciting things are happening with the Honor and Remember campaign. We have made great progress getting the word out about the Honor and Remember Flag, including being prominently featured at a number of NASCAR races around the country. However, this month I want to focus on our core mission and encourage you to think about how you can get involved. As you know, we have three very important goals:

•    To establish the Honor and Remember Flag statewide and nationally as a public symbol of remembrance;
•    To educate the public about the meaning and importance of the flag;
•    To ensure that each Gold Star Family is presented with one personalized flag, regardless of generation, at no cost.

It is this last goal that I want to speak to. One of the most frequent questions I receive from grieving family members is: “When will I receive my personalized Honor and Remember Flag?” This is a heartbreaking question for me to answer because I desire nothing more than to place a personalized flag in their hands immediately. However, the unfortunate reality is that the presentation of an heirloom quality personalized flag begins with funding.

It may seem simple, but the steps required to ensure each family is respectfully presented with a flag are many. Research, communication, verification, manufacturing, delivery and presentation are all part of the lengthy process. But without the sponsored funds to cover the expense, we are slowed to a standstill and no family should ever pay for their own flag.

If you have followed the Honor and Remember Flag journey, you know I am continuously promoting awareness of our mission on a national scale through national and local media interviews, partnering at sporting events, speaking to veteran’s organizations and meeting with corporate representatives. It is always my hope that this effort brings the awareness necessary to build support. Although the message is being communicated broadly, there is still tremendous need and we can’t accomplish the goal of delivering a personalized Honor and Remember Flag to every family without your help physically or financially.

While more than 700 personalized flags have been presented in the last four years, we currently have a list of more than 600 families who have specifically requested a flag. Reaching all of those waiting and the thousands of other families that qualify can’t be accomplished without more help.

The number of requests is increasing daily, so it will take all of us to reach every family from many generations. We have presented to families honoring loved ones whose deaths in service to America date as far back as World War II, Korea and Vietnam. There are nearly 6500 casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars alone, not to mention those untold numbers that have lost their lives through service-related incidents.

Here’s how you can help. Sponsor a single flag yourself or organize a group from your family, office, church, organization or school that will provide the funds needed to sponsor one or more personalized flags. Individuals or groups who wish to present a personalized flag to a particular Gold Star Family can organize a ceremony and do so.

Giving thanks and appreciation for the sacrifice someone has made for your freedom is an amazingly moving experience. I’ve done it hundreds of times and each one is unique. The Honor and Remember Flag provides a tangible and meaningful tribute that YOU can give that makes a difference in a family’s healing.

Your financial gift, no matter how small or large, can contribute to helping us respond to every request. Some families have been waiting for more than two years. Just this week I received this letter from a family who had filled out a request and with their permission I share it unedited with you:

Dear George
Thank you so much for the wonderful service you are doing in getting the public’s attention in lieu of our service men and women who’ve sacrificed their lives to keep our country free and understanding the price paid for that freedom!  I would like to share with you that I am taking care of my widowed elderly Mom after losing her husband to his mind first and then death second.  I would have made the request in lieu of her for a flag but felt that it would honor her more for my brother to receive it.  He has a huge hole in his soul since the loss of our Dad and has stated that he cherished his father as his best friend more so than any one of his peers and they were very very close!  I believe this would further his healing in his own grief process that I don’t think he is coping with very well, but cannot verify this by him, being that he is not very forthcoming with his emotional side.  This would bless my Mom more, to see my brother have something to memorialize his father than anything that could be done for her.  We, my sister and I, were also very close to our Dad and miss his presence in our lives dearly, but we have been dealing with our grief progressively and have each other to lean on, whereas my brother looked to our Dad for that kind of support.  I see that there is a very long wait time and really, there is no hurry considering there are so many soldiers who have sacrificed their lives and have families that miss them just the same, but I felt the need to at least explain the situation with our mother.  Thank you again for what you are doing with such a wonderful way to memorialize someone lost to war!”

Sincerely and God Bless, 
Gold Star Sister

I want to thank those who are already out there supporting the mission, including our state chapters that collectively presented more than 100 flags last year, veterans organizations in many states that have sponsored dozens of flags for local families and individuals who believe that our mission perfectly expresses their gratitude.

I have spoken to many military men and women who have deployed and returned home either safe or scarred but left friends and team members behind on the battlefield. They have each individually searched their own hearts for something to say or do to reach out to the families of their fallen comrades. Over the years, I have watched as personalized flags have expressed that silent emotion, spoken louder than thunder, of the gratitude comrades in arms want to express to a Gold Star Family.

For example, not long ago an Army soldier who was severely wounded by a suicide bomber fought for two years to recuperate as the only survivor of four.  He struggled internally to think of what he could say to the families of his fallen friends. After five years of physical and emotional struggle, he finally met the three mothers of his fallen friends together at a special ceremony and gave each this precious gift of appreciation to honor the men who died at his side. This is one account of many intensely moving moments.

Whether you are a patriotic American, a military veteran or a member of a church, business or organization, you can help us to make a difference. There are so many reasons why this is the right thing to do and in this short newsletter I cannot adequately articulate the impact this opportunity has created for the hundreds of those that have already reached out.
Please follow this link and donate a portion or all of a personalized Honor and Remember Flag for a waiting family. This is an ongoing need with tens of thousands of families yet to be reached, but it has to start with one.

Here are several ways to get involved:
1. A one-time gift.
2. A recurring monthly gift.
3. One full sponsorship.
4. Multiple sponsorships.
5. Corporate sponsorship.

You may have been watching this organization grow from a distance, advancing in its mission and making incredible strides. The demand for flags is growing larger than we can keep up with. Now is the time to partner with us to touch the specific lives of families and remember their loved ones who have sacrificed all for our freedom. You can make a difference in the success of our mission and all that it means to so many.  Search your heart as to the best way you can get involved, but please do something.

Thank you for your continued support and God bless you.

George Lutz, 

P.S. Any Gold Star Family may be placed on the waiting list by filling out the request form on our site.

February 2012 Casualties

Seventeen lives given for our country this month

Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus, 22, of Greenville, Miss.
Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, 49, of Fairfax, Va.
Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, 42, of Tupelo, Miss
Pfc. Cesar Cortez, 24, of Oceanside, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, of North Arlington, N.J
Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler L. Estrada, 21, of Queen Creek, Ariz
Sgt. Jerry D. Reed II, 30, of Russellville, Ark.
Petty Officer First Class Paris S. Pough, 40, of Columbus, Ga
Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colo
Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Ga
1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Ore.
Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Md.
Sgt. Allen R. McKenna Jr., 28, of Noble, Okla.
Sgt. Joshua A. Born, 25, of Niceville, Fla.
Cpl. Timothy J. Conrad Jr., 22, of Roanoke, Va.
Lt. Col. John D. Loftis, 44, of Paducah, Ky.
Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II, 48, of Baltimore, Md

January 2012 – Thank You!

January 2012 Thank You…

I cannot begin in a short message to adequately touch all of the amazing accomplishments of last year. In 2011 Honor and Remember, with your help, significantly advanced its mission to perpetually recognize the sacrifice of our military fallen heroes and their families.

The year began with my personal visit to all 541 legislative offices on Capitol Hill. It was my unprecedented goal to share the vision of our national remembrance flag to every representative and gain congressional approval. This visit initiated substantial support from over 152 members of congress for the national vision. Although HR546 did not see significant movement during the year, I am much more confident that awareness has grown among our legislative leaders. Please continue to reach out to your representatives for support.We will continue to focus on state-by-state adoptions of the Honor and Remember Flag.

Nine state adoptions of the flag are in place and based on phone calls I have received from many of you, a minimum of fifteen additional states should adopt this year. Thank you to all who continue to champion our cause in their state!

Last year was also the beginning of our inclusion into the CFC Combined Federal Campaign, where we are now able to take our message to military and federal employees. I sincerely thank all of the volunteers who represented Honor and Remember at a variety of benefit fairs in states across the country. We could not have made an impact without your help! Continuing our benevolent goal of presenting personalized flags to every Gold Star Family, over 400 families were honored.

We could not make such significant impact without the dedicated men and women who volunteer to manage each state chapter.  The impact they have on their state and those Gold Star Families is enormous. There are currently eleven official Honor and Remember  chapters; Virginia, North Carolina, Alaska, Ohio, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Connecticut and Arizona. It is our national goal to add fifteen additional chapters this year, on our way to fifty. This is a serious commitment and welcome qualified patriots in joining our team. Contact

Personalized flags were presented to Gold Star Families across the U.S. at chapter and key events, including a Louisiana Blue Star mother event, the Maupin, Ohio scholarship event, America Supports You Texas annual weekend, Rolling Thunder Memorial Weekend Banquet, New Jersey Run for the Fallen, the AmVets convention, Arizona Diamondbacks 9/11 and Veteran’s day Presentations and the Navajo reservation presentation to five Vietnam era families.

There are tremendous projects in the works for this year, including plans for many flag presentations and amazing partnerships that will enable us to honor more families than ever before. As 2012 goes into full swing I ask for your continued support for our national effort to change the mindset of this nation. To bring national awareness of and appreciation to the sacrifices of our brave military fallen heroes and their families. The ways to help are simple.

1. Sign the Petition and be sure to encourage your family, friends and coworkers to do the same;
2. Fly the Flag – show your appreciation for our fallen and their families by displaying Honor and Remember as a way to say thank you. Remember to replace faded or worn out flags.
3. Support the Cause – Please consider helping us in our ongoing effort to publicly recognize the sacrifice of our military fallen heroes and their families. Consider a one-time or monthly donation.

Thank you for continuing to support this national symbol of remembrance.  Let’s get this flag flying everywhere!


January 2012 Casualties

Twenty Seven lives given for our country this month

Spc. Pernell J. Herrera, 33, of Espanola, N.M.
Petty Officer 1st Class Chad R. Regelin, 24, of Cottonwood, Calif.
Senior Airman Bryan R. Bell, 23, of Erie, Pa.
Tech. Sgt. Matthew S. Schwartz, 34, of Traverse City, Mich.
Airman 1st Class Matthew R. Seidler, 24, of Westminster, Md.
Staff Sgt. Jonathan M. Metzger, 32, of Indianapolis, Ind.
Spc. Robert J. Tauteris Jr., 44, of Hamlet, Ind.
Spc. Christopher A. Patterson, 20, of Aurora, Ill.
Spc. Brian J. Leonhardt, 21, of Merrillville, Ind.
Pfc. Dustin P. Napier, 20, of London, Ky.,
Pfc. Michael W. Pyron, 30, of Hopewell, Va
Pfc. Neil I. Turner, 21, of Tacoma, Wash
Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin B. Wise, 34, of Little Rock, Ark
Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman, 22, of Tulsa, Okla.
Lance Cpl. Kenneth E. Cochran, 20, of Wilder, Idaho
Spc. Keith D. Benson, 27, of Brockton, Mass
Cpl. Phillip D. McGeath, 25, Glendale, Ariz
Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, 27, of Ferndale, Wash.
Capt. Nathan R. McHone, 29, of Crystal Lake, Ill.
MSgt. Travis W. Riddick, 40, of Centerville, Iowa
Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, 23, of North Beach, Md.
Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, 25, of Colonia, N.J.
Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, 22, of Willis, Texas
Cpl. Christopher G. Singer, 23, of Temecula, Calif
Capt. Joshua C. Pairsh, 29, of Equality, Ill
1st Lt. David A. Johnson, 24, of Horicon, Wis
Sgt. William C. Stacey, 23, of Redding, Calif