Missing In America Project




Our Mission:

We are Veteranís helping Old Glory to fulfil her mission to make sure Veteranís after death are not forgotten for their service they gave to defend her. We take in veteranís funeral flags from families that have come about them either handed down and have no place to put them or did not really know the service man whoís flag they have come by. We also take care of unclaimed service funeral flags. We identify them and place there flag in a flag box with at minimum a Dog Tag recognizing their Branch and service to this great Nation. We find willing American Legion Posts to fill a wall to hang these fallen comradesí flag boxes. We on Memorial Day make sure their names are spoken and service is recognized so that they are not forgotten. This is our pledge and our small part to our brotherís and sisters at Arms.

How we started:

One day I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned to me that he was ask to help a person clean up a familyís estate so they could get it ready for sale. Everything left was to go, either in the dumpster or take it home with you. My friend was not a Veteran nor did he know much at all about the Military. While they were rummaging through all kinds of stuff taking what they wanted and dumping the rest, he told me he came across a Navy manís funeral flag so he thought (not hard to mistake for a vet) and medalís with certificates of awards right there in plane site he mentioned. As he went on he emphasized that the person running the estate cleanup was some kind of family member and stressed that the family had took what they wanted and if the cleanup crew did not want it in the dumpster it goes. Will in the dumpster the deceased Navy manís military accomplishments and funeral flag went. I could not believe I was hearing this, I was pissed off at him and that family. My friend did not know anything about how to retire a flag nor did the other person he was with. All they were after was anything they may have wanted. To me of course it was appalling, but there was nothing at that moment I could do about it because this was done weeks prior. I then thought about my own familyís situation to help me understand this better. On my own wall I have several flags, my wifeís grandfathers and my fatherís flag. I am blessed I have plenty of wall space. I served so they mean so much to me and if I could, I would have all our familyís shadow boxís if they would let me have them. Also we will add to our wall my wifeís fatherís flag to be with his fatherís flag when her mom feels up to letting it go. So to make sure how this thought pattern works I asked my Daughters what are you going to do with my flag and the flags on both sides of the family that I have come by. Neither one of my daughters or their husbands have served. The answer did scare me, mine was no problem my youngest said she wanted it and her grandfatherís. That would mean they would have two flags in their home, mine and grandfatherís flags. My oldest daughter said they would take my fatherís flag; they would have one. But what about their great grandparentís flags that I also have. There reply was, Dad we have only so much wall space, we would rather surround the flags with pictures of you and mom with your grandchildren and us, which I can understand. We would probably put a photo of great granddad or you in uniform on the wall, so most likely they would end up in a cedar chest. I thought and thought, I understand they did not know their great grandparentís that well and eventually as generation go on and hope to God no conflicts happen and if no military orientated generation formulate, my own flag could fall to the estate sale garage sale or in a dumpster. Also I would not want my father and my flags separated nor do I want to see my father in-laws flag separated from his fatherís flag. Then I thought about how I came to have my dadís flag and I have two other siblings. My mother passed away at a younger age so my fatherís flag was presented to his current wife at that time. It meant nothing to her and no one had ever served in her family and my brother and sister never served. It was put to me in this fashion. My father was a professional baseball payer winning the MVP in 1952. So being there was lots of trivia to go around and they would rather remember our dad in that way. They also knew I would cherish his flag above all the trivia in the world, and they were right.

How Heroís Rise Again works:

After the above happened I have decided to work on finding safe haven for deceased unclaimed or undesired service member flags. First were to secure them, my American Legion Post 129 has an abundance of wall space and the good members like the idea it got voted in. We will start with American Legion Post 129 Huntsville Utah. We have posted friendly ads not enough but it is a start and have received several flags as a result. Emotional people have come to the post saying things like ďa woman; his grandson did not want his flag in tearsĒ we have to calm them and get as much info on the service member as we can because we understand not everyone can keep them. We are attempting to spread the word that we will keep them for you and feel free to visit them please and educate as the generation come around that this family member served for your freedoms. We work closely with other Veterans Projects and Associations. For example the Missing In America Project (MIAP) www.miap.us Missing In America Project Mission is to locate, identify and interment the unclaimed remains of American veterans that have been left in funeral homes. This project works hand in hand with ours, my dear friends in the MIAP preform wonderful ceremonies and we help them by taking care of these Honorable unclaimed service members flags. We take them and frame them, tag them and place them with honor on the walls of our American Legion posts so that even though they may have been unclaimed they are not forgotten. We also track them and keep MIAP informed of their location so that by any chance some family member inquires to either us or MIAP we can guide them to their family memberís flag. We do not claim these flags we just keep them safe and honor their service. In this way generation do not have to worry or feel guilt for whatever reason for not presenting these flags. We in our small way will do it for them and they can come and honor there ancestorís at any time. We are now combining our mission with the Honor The Flag mission www.honortheflag.org for they go hand in hand with each other. Honor the Flag mission is to fund track chars for paralyzed service members so that they can more fully enjoy outdoor activities and provide companion service dogs for those suffering from PTSD. They do this through educational brochure and videos that are used in schools to teach our children to honor and respect the American flag. We fall under Honor the flag missionís 501c
Between MIAP Project and our project we have actually reunited a Father with his Daughter after her father had passed. Sometimes we cannot find the next of kin before the interment and after 5 years this time she found us and now she knows where her father is and his flag is back in her loving arms. (Image on the below left)
(Image on the below right) we returned the flag of a missing brothers to his sister who was found through the MIAP.