July 2015 Casualties

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

On July 16, 2015, Sgt. Carson Holmquist, Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells, and Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt were murdered at a recruiting facility in Chattanooga, TN.

Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist – 25 years old

Sgt. Carson Holmquist grew up in Grantsburg, Wis., a hamlet of about 1,400, best known for its proximity to a wildlife reserve.  Holmquist’s decision to join the Marine Corps in 2009, a year after he graduated from Grantsburg High School, took him out of a tight-knit rural town and exposed him to the world, eventually placing him on the battlefield, as far away as Afghanistan and as close as Tennessee.

According to the Marine Corps, Holmquist, who was trained as an automotive technician, was deployed to Afghanistan from September 2013 to May 2014. It was his only overseas assignment as a Marine. Later, he was stationed in Chattanooga, where he helped train Marine reservists at the facility.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith – 26 years old

Randall Smith, a 26-year-old petty officer, was a married father of three girls.  Smith was from Paulding, Ohio. He was a former high school baseball star who had  enlisted in the Navy in 2010 and was a logistics specialist. For three years, he was assigned to the USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship which has a home port in Norfolk.  He began his assignment in Chattanooga in August.

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan – 40 years old

Known to family and friends as “Tommy,” Sullivan was a native of the Springfield, Mass. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan had made it home safely from two tours in Iraq — receiving two Purple Hearts.

He entered the service in 1997, served in Iraq in 2004-2005 and 2007-2008, and deployed in 2014-2015 to the Asia-Pacific region.  Sullivan received two Purple Hearts during a deployment from fall 2004 to spring 2005. The first came after a seven-ton truck he was in was struck by an improvised explosive device, causing bleeding from his ear. The second came after he was hit with shrapnel during a massive attack on the Abu Ghraib prison in April 2005.

He was recently assigned to a unit in Chattanooga, where he was responsible for coordinating training for reservists.

Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells – 21 years old

Lance Cpl. Squire K. “Skip” Wells had been a student at Georgia Southern University for nearly two years when he made a judgment call: He wanted to serve in the military, and he didn’t want to wait anymore.  Wells left college and joined the service last year, graduating from boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. He became a field artillery cannoneer, a job that would have him shooting heavy artillery guns in a team of Marines.

He was in Chattanooga, Tenn., for two weeks of reserve training. His unit, Mike Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marines, is based there.

Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt – 35 years old

Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt was a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a pillar of support to his comrades in those conflicts who came home with physical or emotional scars.

After Matt Bein was wounded by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2009, he turned to Wyatt for help in wrestling through what he should do with the rest of his life — leave the Marine Corps, or find some way to continue to serve despite his injuries.

“He was a mentor and a leader to a lot of guys,” said Bein, a former joint terminal attack controller who ultimately decided to accept a medical retirement as a sergeant.

He was married with two children, and an active-duty member of Mike Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marines, an artillery unit based there.

Wyatt was a native of Russellville, Ark., and joined the Marines in May 2004.  He deployed to Afghanistan from October 2010 to May 2011, one of the most violent periods of the U.S. military campaign there. He previously served in Iraq from October 2007 to April 2008, and also spent time overseas on Navy ships.

July 2014 Casualties

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

Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Yeshabel Villotcarrasco, 23, of Parma, OH, died as a result of a non-hostile incident June 19 aboard USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) while the ship was underway in the Red Sea.

Pfc. Donnell A. Hamilton, Jr., 20, of Kenosha, WI, died July 24, at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from an illness sustained in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, TX.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin G. Prange, 30, of Hickman, NE, died July 24, in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO.

Pfc. Keith M. Williams, 19, of Visalia, CA, died July 24, in Mirugol Kalay, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO.

July 2013 Casulaties

We remember these eleven heroes who gave their lives in July and the families they left behind

Spc. Hilda I. Clayton, 22, of Augusta, Ga.
1st Sgt. Tracy L. Stapley, 44, of Clearfield, Utah
Pvt. Errol D.A. Milliard, 18, of Birmingham, Ala
Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Tuttle, 19, of Gentry, Ark
Staff Sgt. Sonny C. Zimmerman, 25, of Waynesfield, Ohio
Spc. Anthony R. Maddox, 22, of Port Arthur, Texas
1st Lt. Jonam Russell, 25, of Cornville, Ariz.,
Sgt. Stefan M. Smith, 24 of Glennville, Ga., and
Spc. Rob L. Nichols, 24, of Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sgt. Eric T. Lawson, 30, of Stockbridge, Ga.,
Spc. Caryn E. Nouv, 29, of Newport News, Va

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

Honor and Remember Dispatch – July 2009, Vol 2 Issue 7

  Founder’s Message  – Leaving a Legacy

Each year on the Fourth of July, we celebrate the freedoms we won at our nation’s founding and remember the cost that was paid, not only 233 years ago, but also many times since, when those freedoms needed defending.  We remember all of those who laid down their lives to preserve the ideals Americans hold most dear. Gravestones across this country and in foreign lands mark the lives of the brave military men and women who gave the full measure of devotion to this country. We build monuments and name streets, bridges and buildings for our fallen to honor their sacrifice. Americans are a people who need to remember.

As I have pursued the mission of Honor and Remember, I have come to the conclusion that there are two basic questions we all ask ourselves sooner or later: What happens when I die? What difference will my life make?

Answering the first question requires serious reflection on spiritual matters. If you believe, as I do, in life after death, then your path in this life is shaped by the hope in an eternal life that will include being reunited with loved ones who have gone on ahead.

Answering the second question means making decisions about what we wish to leave behind when we’re gone. And it leads to other questions, such as: Will the world be a better place because I lived? Will I leave a positive mark on the lives of others? What will my legacy be?

A legacy is a vestige of your life that remains after you are gone. A tangible legacy may be money or property left to somebody as part of an estate. But life presents us with opportunities to leave individual legacies that go beyond material wealth.

I believe that the Honor and Remember cause presents people with the opportunity to leave a tangible legacy of tribute to another life, one that was given for all Americans. When it is all said and done, is there any more significant legacy that we can leave, than to have made another person’s life better in some way? And one of the most significant ways I can think of to do that is to honor the family of a loved one whose life was cut short for my benefit. To say: “I appreciate the sacrifice your family has made for me and my family” touches the core of who we are as human beings.

Supporting our troops and honoring and caring for our veterans are important concerns for every patriotic American. Unfortunately, our duty to honor and remember those who have given their lives for America may fade under the pressures of day-to-day life. The families of the fallen never forget their loved ones and they hope that the rest of America won’t either. But without a daily reminder, it’s hard to meet that obligation. That’s why the Honor and Remember Flag was created.

As a father of a son who was lost in service to America, I hold onto anything I can touch that helps me remember him, including the Honor and Remember Flag with his name on it. As the nation flies this flag, as we individually fly this flag, we make a silent statement to every man and woman who ever served in the United States military that we appreciate their service. And we make a statement to every family that sacrificed a loved one that we will never forget.

I believe we live in a time with the largest contingent of living veterans ever in our history. It is this generation that must leave a mark for those that follow. Flying the Honor and Remember Flag says thank you to them and to every family that has or will give its blood for our nation. In the scope of one’s life there aren’t many opportunities to leave a national legacy. However, I believe flying the Honor and Remember Flag is a significant way to send a powerful and positive message that will bless the lives of those who risked everything and to the families who lost more than we can ever repay.

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

  Our Hero’s Story – Harriet Goodiron

My 25-year-old son Nathan (Nate) J. Goodiron was serving in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom with Bismarck North Dakota’s 188th Air Defense and Artillery Unit. Nathan was a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, which are located on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in New Town, ND. The eldest of our two children, Nate lived in Mandaree, ND.

Nate, his first cousin SGT C.J. O’Berry and gunner Sam Floberg were riding in a humvee on Thanksgiving day, November 23, 2006, when their vehicle was hit by four enemy rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). Nate was driving. The first three RPG rounds hit the humvee without causing severe damage. However, the fourth round penetrated the rear passenger door, taking off Sam’s leg and blasting deadly shrapnel into Nate’s back, killing him. CJ was hit with shrapnel and suffers today not only with complications from his wounds, but also with recurring nightmares about that day.

As I was reading stories about other families of fallen heroes, I realized that our journeys are all the same, long and lonely. Nate planned to be a warrior who came home to live a long, happy life with his new wife, family, friends and community. Nate and Eileen were married on November 29, 2005. He left on his deployment on December 04, 2005. On his wedding anniversary, November 29, 2006, our family held a memorial service for him at the event center in New Town. This was truly a rough day for all of us. Nate and his bride had spent only a few days of their marriage together.

My family, like the other families of the fallen, does not want the memory of our sons and daughters forgotten. They have given their all so that we may live freely. Once I received the Honor and Remember petition, I immediately signed it and forwarded it to the people on my contact list. This is just a small gesture that we can make in return for their sacrifice, so that “they may never be forgotten.”   Thank you for all you are doing, George!

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 – James Ackman 

George, there have been many times I have started writing an e-mail to you to express my respect and admiration for your obvious vigor, devotion, and desire for your cause, and to offer my assistance, only to find myself deleting whole paragraphs, then whole e-mails.  What I found after reading my e-mails before sending them was that they all sounded like I would be making these great big sacrifices to try to help.  Since I was the one writing them, I knew that was not the case, but I could see how it might come across as being somewhat myopic on my part, and my biggest fear was offering assistance for the wrong reasons, for some personal satisfaction and the potential for some sort of recognition.

In my humble opinion, that would be worse than doing nothing at all. It would bring dishonor to you, your family, your cause, the servicemen and women, their families, Kevin Baker (a disabled veteran who passed away while making a bike ride in support of Honor and Remember), and most of all, the memory of your son.  So it was with a cautious reluctance that I offered my assistance in the past.  But ever since I first read about Kevin’s passing and his passion for helping your cause, there was that sense of meaningful purpose behind your cause.  There was this constant reminder that there were people out there like yourself, your son, your family, Kevin, and a whole lot of other people that CHOOSE their path in life instead of life choosing a path for them.

One thing my wife has taught me, whether she realizes it or not, is that if something is right for you, you will have the same or stronger feeling about it as time passes.  If it’s not right, you lose the desire for it. There are many times in people’s lives where they will be given opportunities to make a difference in someone else’s life for better or worse.  In my life, your son has given me that opportunity to choose a path in life… or rather choose a path OF life.  As you can read, and as my daughter and wife have pointed out to me, I can be longwinded at times, but I want to let you know that I will do what I can to help your cause.  And I can honestly say that I do offer my assistance for the right reasons: for the families of the ones that keep us safe.  Stay strong!

  Recent News and Presentations

Virginia Congressman Glenn Nye (June 1, 09) Honor and Remember flag HR 1034 endorsement.

Gold Star Mothers, Hampton Roads Chapter  (June 6, 09) Personalized flag presentation to Betty Queener in honor of her son CWO3 Michael F. Anderson ~ 21 Feb 1991 ~ Saudi Arabia. The flag was sponsored by the GSM Chapter.

Virginia State HOG Rally (Harley Owners Group) (June 18, 09) Introduction of campaign by founder George Lutz and presentation of personalized flags to Gold Star families in honor of ; SP4 Stanley E. Taylor ~ 21 Dec 1969 ~ Vietnam, SSG David W. Textor ~ 15 July 2008 ~ Iraq, Sgt Michael V. Lalush ~ 30 March 2003 ~ Iraq. Flags were sponsored by the United Veterans Alliance Foundation.

Memorial service for Kevin Baker (June 19, 09) George Lutz gave remarks in Marseilles, IL at Kevin’s memorial service and presented his mother with a personalized flag in his honor. Also a flag was presented to friend Susan Moreno who lost her son SFC John M. Hennen  ~ 17 June 2007 ~ Afghanistan. Kevin had intended to ride his bicycle to Marseilles for this presentation but died in route. Read story here.

Illinois Freedom Run (June 20, 09) With an audience of more than five thousand, and more than sixty Gold Star families in attendance. Mr. Lutz was given the honor of presenting personalized flags to twelve families. SPC David S. Collins ~  9 April 2006 ~ Iraq, Cpl Kevin M. Clark ~ 19 Feb 2005 ~  Iraq, SSgt Lincoln D. Hollinsaid  ~ 7 April 2003 ~ Iraq, SPC Brian M. Romines  ~ 6 June 2005 ~ Iraq, SSgt Walter F. Cohee III  ~ 20 Jan 2002 ~ Afghanistan, PV2 James H. Ebbers   ~ 14 Oct 2002 ~ Africa, LCpl Jonathan K. Price  ~ 13 Jan 2006 ~ Iraq, LCpl Sean P. Maher  ~ 2 Feb 2005 ~ Iraq, PVT Jonathan L. Gifford ~ 23 March 2003 ~ Iraq, Sgt Eric A. Lill  ~ 6 July 2007 ~ Iraq, LCpl Christopher B. Wasser  ~ 8 April 2004 ~ Iraq, Cpl Michael Eyre Thompson ~ 18 Sept 2008 ~ Iraq

Gold Star Mothers, Nat’l Convention (June 21, 09) Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Mr Lutz presented personalized flags to four precious mothers in honor of Lt Kent M. Kiepe ~ 26 Feb 1992 ~ US Navy,
PFC Clifford J. Stewart ~ 15 Dec 1963 ~ Vietnam, UTCN John P. Van Dusen ~ 20 Sept 1968 ~ Vietnam,
Cpl Randy R. Mueller ~ 3 March 1969 ~ Vietnam

Please read our Blog for more details. www.honorandremember.org/blog.php


I spent a tour in Iraq and lost several dear friends. My little brother has also spent 1 tour and preparing for his 2nd tour as you read this. He also lost several dear friends over there. This flag would be an honor for any family to have. Twin Falls, Idaho

I’m the sister of PFC David Dietrich who died Dec 29 2006 in Iraq Thank you for honoring all the fallen heros all that died in all the wars Thank You. Also thank to the families of the ones that died fighting for our freedom. Carlisle , Pennsylvania

I’m the mother of Spc Ignacio Nacho Ramirez kia on 08/09/2006. I read your messages on the web and see the flag what a great tribute for all the soldiers thank you things like this is what keep us going God bless you  Henderson, Nevada

Dear organizers: hello, I heard about your site from Virginia congressman Tom Perriello so i decided to find out more about your mission. thank you for all you do for our veterans past, present and future. i hope this national flag symbol resolution passes. it is one of many. God’s speed, Judy. Wylliesburg, VA

I am the Proud Mom of one of our Fallen Heroes; Nicholas D. Turcotte was a SGT with the MN Army Nat’l Guard~he was killed in Iraq on 12-04-06. I miss him every single day…I wanted to Thank You for Honoring our Heroes, past, present and future with this amazing flag. I have signed the petition and continue to share this flag with everyone I know! Bless you, Debbie. Westminster, Colorado

I lost my nephew, US Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy on 6/18/05 in Afghanistan. I am so thankful I attended the Virginia State Harley Rally and met the wonderful father who began this campaign. His staff were very understanding when I talked about Michael. I have e-mailed everyone in my address book to sign the petition and asked that they all do the same. Thank you for remembering, not only Michael, but all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They are all heroes who should never be forgotten.  Medford, New York

The Honor and Remember Dispatch – Vol 1 Issue 1

The Honor and Remember Dispatch is devoted to keeping you informed about milestones, events and stories associated with the Honor and Remember National Flag Campaign.

This is the first edition of the H&R Dispatch. My intention in creating this newsletter was to provide a way to communicate with everyone who has visited the Honor and Remember website and signed the petition. Once a month we will keep you informed on the exciting events associated with the ongoing progress of the Honor and Remember Flag Campaign.

If our organization is new to you please read our mission statement.

Since this is the inaugural issue of this newsletter, we have sent it to everyone who is part of the Honor and Remember database. If you do not wish to continue receiving the H&R Dispatch, please click on the unsubscribe link and you will be removed from the list.

We are still in the very early stages of seeking official recognition for the flag and getting it into the hands of all living parents of men and women who have died in service to our nation. Nevertheless, there are already great stories to tell about how people are getting on board and promoting the Honor and Remember Flag in their spheres of influence.

We officially launched the Honor and Remember Flag on Memorial Day May 26, 2008 at a ceremony at the Douglas MacArthur Memorial Museum in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. The event was covered by all three local network affiliate TV news stations. Our special guest was Congresswoman Thelma Drake, who has indicated that she will support our efforts to get the flag recognized by Congress and will be working on legislation.

We continue to gain support from many individuals, businesses and organizations from around the country. Veterans in particular are joining the cause daily and spreading the word. Although no national endorsement at this time we have unquestioned support from the FRA, American Legion, VFW, Vietnam Veterans, AFSPA, USO and the Patriot Guard riders to highlight a few.

Getting to this point has been an enormous task. We have had to: draft our articles of incorporation and bylaws in order to apply for our 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization; develop marketing materials and a web site; locate a manufacturer for the flag and other related products and get the word out to the media and everyone else who would listen. I am so grateful and humbled by the generous spirit of so many who have donated time and expenses in each of these phases of our launch.

I want to say a special thank you to our manufacturer, US Flag and Signal in Portsmouth, Virginia. They have not only worked with us to create an outstanding hand-sewn version of the Honor and Remember Flag, but also have demonstrated an incredibly generous spirit in their offer to work with us as we get the flag campaign off the ground. Also Vanguard industries has generously guided us in the production of ancillary products such as hats and shirts. Additionally, we have a web presence because of the excellence, dedication and tireless work ethic of Newbourne WebSolutions. Visit our supporter link for more details.

Our flags and other items are available now for purchase at our website.

Finally, I want to encourage you to remain a part of the Honor and Remember family. Regardless of what brought you to the website initially, I’d like to invite you to stay involved as we move toward our goals. If you have a story to tell relating to the Honor and Remember Flag or a dedication to a fallen loved one or friend or you just want to express your thoughts about what our fighting forces mean to you, please visit the website and participate in our blog or email me your story for possible inclusion in this newsletter.

If you are a Gold Star parent, and you haven’t done so already, please contact me. It is our goal, through sales, sponsorships and donations to eventually place one personalized flag in the hands of all living sets of parents.


George Lutz

On June 20th the Honor and Remember Flag was unfurled by the Patriot Guard Riders for the fist time to honor a fallen hero, Lt. Jeremy S. Wise, at his memorial service at Oceana Air Base, Virginia Beach, Virginia. We were honored to have conveyed sincere condolences to Jeremy’s family and friends. The nation will never forget his sacrifice.

On June 21st at the Branch 5 Norfolk chapter meeting of the Fleet Reserve Association, the group voted to conduct a fundraiser in order to present every family of those who died aboard the USS COLE with a personalized hand-sewn Honor and Remember Flag. When they are finished, the flags will be presented at a ceremony on the anniversary date of the October 12, 2000 terrorist attack.

On July 3rd, the Honor and Remember Flag flew in its first public venue at Harbor Park, the home stadium of the Norfolk Tides, a Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

At a July 4th concert in Hampton, Virginia, George had the opportunity to meet country music recording artist Darryl Worley. George and Darryl talked at length about the importance of supporting our troops and remembering those that sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedom. Darryl has made several trips to both Afghanistan and Iraq. George learned that Darryl was in Fallujah the week that Tony was killed.

George Lutz has been interviewed by both local radio and television stations in Norfolk and on blogtalkradio.com.

Visit the following site to hear his interview on blogtalkradio:


Mark Fulton

George and I have been friends for more than 20 years. I watched his son Tony grow from a cute little kid into a fine young man. When I saw Tony’s picture on the front page of our local paper on that terrible December day in 2005, my heart sank and tears streamed down my face as I read about his death in Fallujah, Iraq.

Tony’s funeral was the most moving service I can remember. More than just a funeral, it was a celebration of a life that touched so many other lives. One after the other, Tony’s school friends and Army buddies shared their favorite memories of this special young man. Words failed me when I finally had a chance to speak to George, so we just hugged.

In the two and a half years since then, George and I have gone out to dinner and a movie on many occasions. Understandably, our conversation usually included talk of Tony and his wife and children. George shared with me that he was attending some military funerals in an effort to try to bring some comfort to families that were experiencing the same thing that he and Patty had gone through. In so doing, I believe he was also paying tribute to his son, honoring his memory by participating in services that honored other fallen warriors.

From those visits an idea was born. About five months ago, George told me that he thought that America should have a flag that served as a constant reminder of the military men and women who gave their life in service to their country. He did some research and talked with some elected officials and quickly realized that if such a symbol were ever going to become a reality, he would have to make it happen himself. When George asked me to serve on the board of a new organization that would create and promote this new national symbol, I said count me in.

My reason for being on board with (and on the board of) Honor and Remember, Inc. is simple: my friend lost his firstborn son and I could think of no better way to honor their sacrifice than to give my efforts to this worthy cause. Beyond that, however, being part of the Honor and Remember Flag movement has challenged me to think more deeply about my country and about the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

The young people serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other dangerous spots throughout the world deserve not only our support, but also our heartfelt honor. Regardless of what you may believe about our involvement in those countries, there is no doubt that the young Americans serving there are worthy of our utmost respect for putting their lives on the line. And for those who pay the ultimate price, we should do no less than to honor and remember them.

It is hard to believe but our unveiling was only two months ago and as of the publication of this newsletter July 25, 2008, there are over 3500 electronic signatures on the website and nearly 2000 hand-signed petitions. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, please go to the website and do so. And if you can spread the word to your friends and relatives, you will help us build the groundswell we need to accomplish our mission.

Sign the Petition

Our slogan continues to be….

Sign the Petition ~ Share the Vision ~ Fly the Flag

There are many things you can do to help. If you haven’t signed the petition please do so now. If you don’t see the names of people you contacted, please follow up. We need one signature for every life lost in all military service, 1.6 million. Every individual name is important. Write to your representatives in Congress and state senators; call local and national talk shows; send information to your local papers; leave comments on internet blogs; post the website everywhere it makes sense. This campaign should be important to everyone in any walk of life in every state of this country. Lastly, fly the Honor and Remember Flag at your home, church, business, organization or military facility.

Our flags and other items are available now for purchase at our website: http://www.honorandremember.info/zcart/

One final note: although the Honor and Remember campaign is extremely important to most of us, it is not going to be readily accepted by everyone. If you are not met with the enthusiasm you anticipate when sharing the mission, please respect the attitude or decision of that individual. There are thousands of supporters throughout the country who believe the time has come for a tangible reminder of the sacrifice of those who died for our freedoms, and that the Honor and Remember Flag is the appropriate symbol. Thank you, George