We can slice and dice the time any way we’d like, but in the end it took 213,753,600 seconds for Combat Flags to come into existence. It took 353 weeks and 3 days for a single idea, a chronic thought, to become a tangible and meaningful project.
But, before we get to Combat Flags, let me introduce myself. My name is Dan and I served 6 years in the United States Army. I joined up a few months after my seventeenth birthday, just 2 years after Sept. 11, with the sole intention of serving my country. I didn’t join for college money or to find myself, I joined because it was the right thing to do.
I qualified and signed up for 37F - Psychological Operations. Why? Because it was the only job available at the time that guaranteed me an Airborne slot. After basic, AIT, jump school and language school, I joined my company and deployed twice in support of OEF-P. My 6 years in the Army were some of the best of my life. I met amazing people, grew (personally and professionally), learned lifelong lessons and started on the journey that led me to have the life I have today.
When I decided to leave the military, I left the military all the way. I packed it up — literally and figuratively — and put it away. I started school, graduated school, started my career and lived my life. But… I missed the military and I missed the connection to people who were like me. For the first time in my adult life I was accountable for nobody but myself.
So, I began the lengthy journey of finding my niche. I knew I wanted to reintegrate with the military and veteran community, but I didn’t want to volunteer randomly and donate money periodically. I wanted something with more meaning… something I could build a community around.
Enter Combat Flags. The idea for Combat Flags came during a mundane conference call. I happened to look up toward the corner of my desk, like I’d done a million times before, and spotted the tiny American Flag I had hanging. The idea struck me instantly. The Original Combat Flag was born. It took about 3 months of learning, testing and perfecting before I “officially” launched Combat Flags, but it happened. And I never looked back.
The sole purpose of Combat Flags is to connect veterans and give back in a meaningful way. At the time I launched the company I committed to supporting a veteran 501(c)(3) dedicated to helping our brothers and sisters who need it most. After much research I decided on Stop Soldier Suicide.
Lifetime donations recently surpassed $100,000, benefiting 77 veterans with much-needed support! I'm continually blown away by the meaning so many of you find in Combat Flags and my mission.
A simple “thank you” isn’t enough. But I am thankful for those of you who support Combat Flags and support my personal mission to leave the world a better place than we found it. Without you none of this would be possible.
This blog is twofold. I will use it to answer questions I’ve received since starting Combat Flags and to shed light on topics of interest. But more importantly I will feature stories from active duty, reserve and veterans to tell future generations of our service and what it means. If you’ve served and would like to contribute please checkout this simple guide and Q&A. If you have an idea for a future post please let me know in the comments!