April 2015 Casualties

April 2015 Heroes

We remember these heroes who gave their lives for freedoms cause and the families they left behind.

Spc. John M. Dawson, 22, of Whitinsville, MA, died April 8, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was attacked by small arms fire while he was on an escort mission. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 33 Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY.

Tech. Sgt. Anthony E. Salazar, 40, of Hermosa Beach, CA, died April 13, at an air base in southwest Asia in a non-combat related incident. He was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. The incident is under investigation. He was assigned to the 577th Expeditionary Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force Squadron, 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group, U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

April 2014 Casualties

We remember these 4 heroes who gave their lives for freedoms cause and the families they left behind.

Capt. James E. Chaffin III, 27, of West Columbia, SC, died April 1, in
Kandahar, Afghanistan, of a non-combat related incident. The incident is under investigation.   He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, NC

Spc. Kerry M. G. Danyluk, 27, of Cuero, Texas, died April 15 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, of injuries sustained April 12 when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Pul-e-Alam, Logar province, Afghanistan.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY

Pfc. Christian J. Chandler, 20, of Trenton, TX, died April 28 in Baraki Barak District, Logar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, NY

Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, of Accord, NY, died April 28, in Nejrab District, Kapisa province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York.

April 2013 Casualties

Fourteen Heroes gave their lives for our freedom this month.

Chief Warrant Officer Curtis S. Reagan, 43, of Summerville, S.C
Capt. James Michael Steel, 29, of Tampa, Fla.
Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Ward, 24, of Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Spc. Wilbel A. Robles-Santa, 25, of Juncos, Puerto Rico
Spc. Delfin M. Santos Jr., 24, of San Jose, Calif.
Chief Warrant Officer Matthew P. Ruffner, 34, of Tafford, Pa
Chief Warrant Officer Jarett M. Yoder, 26, of Mohnton, Pa.
Pfc. Barrett L. Austin, 20, of Easley, S.C
Capt. Aaron R. Blanchard, 32, of Selah, Wash
1st Lt. Robert J. Hess, 26, of Fairfax, Va
Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, 28, of Woodbridge, Va
Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, 30, of Kailua, Hawaii
Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson, 24, of Rancho Cordova, Calif
Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, Ky.

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

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. www.honorandremember.org/the-flag/flag-presentation/

Honor and Remember Dispatch – April 2010, Vol 3 Issue 4

  Founder’s Message  – A Moment Worth Sharing

I would like to begin today with an appeal for help. We are less than 40 days from leaving on the trip Across America and still have not met all of our expectations. If you are able to meet us or help arrange for our visit in any way please write to me at contact@honorandremember.org. Thanks to all who are working in their state to make this historic journey successful. We still need specific assistance in the following states: Maine, Vermont, Oregon, North Dakota, West Virginia, Illinois, Tennessee, Montana and Rhode Island.

This past month I shared an experience many Americans most assuredly missed. I had the opportunity to participate in National Observance of Iraqi Liberation Day (NOILD), which was marked by a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery that included officials and military generals from Iraq. Although this hallowed occasion was very meaningful to me, what impacted me the most as a Gold Star father whose son was killed in Iraq was what was said.

I was able to hear words that were not broadcast that day on the evening news … words that the American public will never hear … words of thankfulness. You see, we are making a difference in Iraq and the appreciation expressed by the Iraqi dignitaries that day was heartfelt.  One by one the Iraqi officials stood at the podium, looked into the crowd and spoke words I didn’t realize I needed to hear: “Thank you.”

The lives of our American sons and daughters, husbands and wives sacrificed to achieve Iraq’s liberation have made a difference for that nation that is still hard to fully comprehend. In addition to freeing Iraq from the grip of a ruthless dictator, paving the way for self-governance and providing guidance for Iraq’s own security forces, our armed forces have played a major role in building hospitals, schools and other facilities.

Here is a personal note sent to us after this solemn April event: 
”GEN Abadi, Vice Chief of Staff, Iraqi Joint Forces, wants me to convey his personal felicitations to you, the parents, and to convey the sentiment, as he did at Arlington National Cemetery, that CPL Lutz rests assured to be on our minds often and in our prayers always. The general said, ‘The images of our reunion, in the midst of our martyrs, Iraqi and American, on America’s hallowed ground, Arlington National Cemetery, will stay with me forever. They are America’s best, they are your sons and daughters, and while we have returned their remains to American soil, their souls shall live on in the hearts of Iraqis, in Eternity. For now, by what they have done for Iraqi Freedom, they have become our sons and daughters as well.'”

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM. THANK YOU. Powerful words. I firmly believe that our military involvement in Iraq was not in vain. Our blood and treasure were not wasted. Our loved ones went over there to make a difference. They were on a mission they believed in and even though we may not be able to say right now mission accomplished 100 percent, they all fought and many died for the noblest of causes: freedom.

As we move forward with building national awareness for the Honor and Remember Flag, let’s not forget that Americans are not the only people who should be thankful for generations of the USA’s military fallen heroes. Just as they gave their lives to preserve our freedoms, they also died so that people in many foreign lands could live free from tyranny. And for that, they deserve the thanks of free people everywhere.

God Bless
Sign the Petition ~ Share the Vision ~ Fly the Flag

  Our Hero’s Story – Byron Bird, Jr

(Selected verses from two poems, “A Father’s Memory of His Son” and “High in the Mountains”)

Twenty-nine years ago, I was wild as anyone could be;
I met a wonderful woman and asked her to marry me.
All our friends and family were at the wedding, they wished their very best;
A new and special love I found; this woman’s patience I would sometimes test.

Nine months after the vows, there came into this world a bundle of joy.
It was a glorious day, she had given birth to a beautiful brown-eyed boy.
He was full of spirit and difficult at times; He was a lot of fun.
One of my greatest treasures: I loved him dearly, for he was my first son.

I watched him grow and he developed into a young man so wild and free.
He was like no other, one of God’s greatest gifts, we called him Jeremy.
Growing tall and lean with a desire to be with the best;
The way he played football and wrestled, he stood out among the rest.

Graduation day came early for him in the year of ninety-one,
On the honor roll four years for being the best that he was among.
Most valuable football player and wrestler, he wouldn’t settle for anything less.
After graduation, he gave up his Blazer and friends, then joined the Army to be with the best.

I asked him not to go; he said with firmness in his voice that he must do this for himself.
He was always G.I. Joe as a kid; his personal life would be put on the shelf.
Training was hard with many difficulties; running and marching, never time to sit.
He would become an Airborne Ranger, by their creed they were never allowed to quit.

I came home on the fateful day after work; I was tired and all worn out.
In drove the chief of police, a priest and a sergeant; I wondered what this was about.
His mother was the first to greet them, then turned to me with tears in her eyes;
For Jeremy had made the ultimate sacrifice and they told us how he died.

It was in a helicopter crash over the Great Salt Lake; it went down in a fiery flame.
He had volunteered for this mission, letting no one else take it, for he wouldn’t be ashamed.
Sergeants, officers, enlisted men; the best of the best were together that fateful day;
All the rest of his Ranger buddies were on shore, but all they could do was pray.

There was such beauty at the cemetery, a blanket of white snow; the Rangers were standing so proud.
With prayers and farewells, a twenty-one-gun salute, then taps that touched the hearts in the crowd.
His mother laid a yellow rose on the casket, as an eerie gust of wind came down;
As the rose blew off, a Ranger out of nowhere caught it before it touched the ground.

I believe that gust of wind was taking his soul back to heaven, where he came from
Jeremy was only here for a short while; God’s gift to me, my beloved son.
Two weeks after he had gone, I had a vision. It was Jeremy and he said to me,
“Get on with your life, I am at peace; you’ve grieved enough, just let it be.”

As the days go by and time passes, his spirit keeps me moving on.
I will think of him often and the memory of where he is in the great beyond.
Someday this old cowboy will ride that horse alone to that mountaintop up high.
It will be a lonely ride, but it will be worth it to see my son, that Ranger in the sky!  …………His Dad

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 and celebrate their life and honor their experiences in service, etc. We want to present a snapshot of our young heroes … who they were and how those who loved them remember. Photos are welcome.  Please send to contact@honorandremember.org

  Why I’m on Board – Laura Olisewski 

It was one of those picture perfect days. You know the kind: sunny, an occasional white cloud in a deep, blue sky. It was about 70 degrees and there was a gentle, warm breeze – just perfect. I was in our backyard, picking blueberries from the more than 30 bushes we had when the chimes at the church at the end of our street started to play “America the Beautiful.” I laughed because it was just too perfect – almost unreal.

Then I started to think about how truly blessed I am that I have the freedom to have all of these wonderful things in my life. The one thought that stuck in my mind was “freedom.” I thought about all the soldiers, sailors and veterans that have fought for my freedom throughout the years, even years before I was born. It reminded me that I owe so much to them for what they have given me.

That is why I am such a strong supporter of the Honor and Remember campaign. The very least that I can do is to show the families of the fallen that I respectfully honor and remember what their hero gave for me. The Honor and Remember Flag helps me to do that, without needing to say a word, because it isn’t always easy to find the words that truly express the feelings associated with such a tough situation.

My husband and I are honored to be VIP escorts at Rolling Thunder in Washington, D.C. We have Gold Star family members on the back seats of our motorcycles as we ride them through the streets of Washington, D.C. during the event. While doing this not long ago, we were honored to meet the Morel family. They lost their Marine son, Capt. Brent Morel, (a Navy Cross recipient for extraordinary heroism), on April 7, 2004 in Iraq. Coincidentally, my husband was serving in Iraq at the same time. We have now become close with the Morels.

When Adam and I got married this past August, we knew that it was because of the work that American soldiers and sailors like Capt. Morel that we were able to have the freedom to celebrate our wedding as we did. So we included a story about Capt. Morel and the Morel family in our wedding program. We also went on to explain about our Honor and Remember Flag that we had flying at the outdoor wedding and why we were flying it. Our friend Neil Cotter, who is also friends with the Morels, surprised us by showing up with Capt. Brent Morel’s personalized Honor and Remember Flag, which had been shipped overnight by Molly Morel. So we were able to honor him in name at our wedding. It was truly a special day, but it was made all the more significant and memorable because we were able to show our guests how much we appreciate, recognize, honor and remember our fallen by flying the flag.

A friend of mine, Christine, a Gold Star Mom, once said that her greatest fear is that people will forget her son, Cpl. Steven Koch. That really stuck with me. Those words strengthened my resolve to make sure that Gold Star families know that I recognize their sacrifice and remember their hero every day … and without a word.
Proud wife of Adam, an OIF 2004-2005 veteran!

  News and Upcoming Events

With so much momentum in place and more progress ahead, we must focus on broadening awareness. That is why we will soon be taking the message to every state and launching “Honor and Remember Across America.”  Click here for trip info.

The trip will focus on taking the Honor and Remember message to 50 states with the hope that each state legislature will join Virginia’s in officially adopting the flag. We will be giving presentations at various venues where we have been invited to speak, including houses of worship, veterans groups and community organizations. And most importantly, we will look forward to meeting many Gold Star families around the U.S. Our goals are to spread the word about the Honor and Remember Flag everywhere possible, to see the flag flying across America and to touch the lives of many families who have lost so much.


I want to thank Kate McLaughin and this organization for Honoring me with this flag. I lost my son Spc Mathew Taylor 09-26-07. I appreciate everything that you all are doing and to all our soldiers for protecting our USA. Thank you also to all the soldiers like my son that gave their lives so that we all can be free!!! God Bless us all!!! Cameron Park, CA

“THANK YOU” For way too long this nation’s fallen have been reserved a place in the back of the bus, forgotten. Such has it been for our older warriors. In recent years, some of this still continues, yet there are still good, strong, honorable citizens that have stepped forward to hold our banner high and declare to all that they have what it takes to stand against the darkness. Many have fallen and this flag now honors them in a way that has never been done before. For this I say “THANK YOU”. To all my brothers and sisters in uniform… Montrose, CO

I am with you. I am a retired navy man and will be proudly flying this right along side my POW/MIA flag from my front porch. Shingletown, CA

I think this is a great idea! My husband has been to Iraq and Afghanistan and believe this is a wonderful way to honor him and those who came back safely, but most importantly for those who will never come back. I think about them every day and hope that they know how grateful we all are!! Knoxville, IL

This is for my Son Cpl Tim Roos KIA July 27 06 and all of the others that lost there lives for are freedom . Thank you so much for honoring us. Cincinnati, OH

Our son, Cpl Michael J. Anaya was KIA 04/12/2009 on Easter Sunday morning. We are still struggling with our loss and yet are so proud of him! God Bless you for this effort – it is comforting to know that the Fallen Warriors are not forgotten. Crestview, FL

This is an awesome movement honoring those who are so easily forgotten or just counted as mere statistics of war. I serve in the Navy and have seen many friends go to Iraq and Afghanistan during this war. Do whatever it takes to get this flag in the air! God will honor this, I truly believe that! Newport News, VA

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