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6 years, 9 months, 8 days

January 09, 2018 20 Comments

 

 

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. And I never looked back.

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. Like I said, I never looked back.

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

Since starting the company I’ve developed a strong relationship with Stop Soldier Suicide, one I’m beyond thankful for, and together with my customers we’ve donated more than $14,000 to Stop Soldier Suicide. $14,000*! 

The amazing thing? We’re moving beyond awareness of the military suicide epidemic and are driving action.

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!

*July 2018 update: We surpassed $30,000 at the end of July



20 Responses

Kat
Kat

July 25, 2018

Great read…. proud of you and those like you. Looking forward to supporting your efforts. [ Incidental to the story? The kid in the center of your header photo looks like my son! Depending on where and when, it’s possible…..he’s still active duty. :-) ]

Myra Ferrell
Myra Ferrell

July 14, 2018

That was an awesome read Dan! Thank you. and Thank each and everyone of you that have served this Country we call our home. I have been a customer since seeing your "show on fb…. a little show Mike Rowe is a part of called “Returning the favor”. Why? Because I believe in supporting American companies. American ran and American served. YOU cover all 3! I love the small mom and pop ran affairs its just kind of my thing. The show has taught me that I am part of something really big. “When they say it takes a village to raise a child” They mean UNTIL the child has been raised. When our service men and woman take up arms to serve and protect me……..Well I want to reciprocate. Thank you for creating Combat Flags!!! I have been gathering as I could afford items for MY solider (who is my brother) I will be surprising him with those goodies in September. Best wishes on your Journey…………..I feel like God has his hand on you and is steering you on your path. I like where it is going I hope you are enjoying the ride~

Allen H
Allen H

July 14, 2018

I recently purchased one of you flags after seeing the On-Line program Returning the Favor with Mike Rowe. It has a great story everyone should watch. I have had several people ask about the flag since I have displayed it. Keep up the good work.

Helen
Helen

July 14, 2018

I cannot thank you enough for all you have done by your military service and your continued support of our men and women who so valiantly protect our country. May God richly bless you and your family as you help our military personnel readjust to life after trauma.

Valerie Shelton
Valerie Shelton

April 29, 2018

Hello. My husband and I are both veterans of the Air Force. I would like to purchase a flag. Can you tell me where I can buy one? Thank You for what you do!!! ❤️

Gracie Marske
Gracie Marske

February 06, 2018

What a service to the heroes that have served and are currently enlisted. We have my husbands uniforms we will gladly send to you when you are ready. May God bless you and your family.

Robert J
Robert J

February 03, 2018

I’m sure that there is an ease to pasting on that appliqué to the BDU cloth. A product I’d love to see would be the BDU with Stars and Stripes one-color embroidered and sewed to a backing, which would hold up to Daily wear on a motorcycle Club vest. There are a number of veteran, and public safety motorcycle clubs and all seem to feature the respectful placement and wear of an American flag patch on a vest. One with a bar beneath the flag that says “Stop Soldier Suicide” is something I’d be honored to wear! Just an Idea! I’ll be sure to check back in when you have some flag products in stock. You are doing a great job, keep it up!

Sheryl
Sheryl

February 02, 2018

Thank you for fighting Veteran suicide and your service. My son was a victim. I plan to buy a flag when they are available.

Angela Matthews
Angela Matthews

February 02, 2018

I would love to purchase combat flag that represents my boyfriend’s service. Please let me know what I would need to do this.

Kyle Hathaway
Kyle Hathaway

February 01, 2018

I’m in Fayetteville, NC… Do you need volunteer help? If not you maybe with the organization that you support?

Timothy Enns
Timothy Enns

February 01, 2018

I saw the Micro Edition of your efforts. I would love to support through a purchase of a flag. Do you have a waiting list?

Meghan H
Meghan H

February 01, 2018

My best friend, who is like a brother to me, is overseas right now. I found this on Facebook and was moved so quickly. I was wondering when you will get more flags in stock so I can ship him one. Thank you so much for your service; it’s not enough to say because of the meaning behind it.

Rick W.
Rick W.

January 31, 2018

Great Post, I retired after a long and meaningful career. I’m still trying to reintegrate into civilian world. It isn’t any easier when you are old either.

Kim Pease
Kim Pease

January 30, 2018

Just saw your story with Mike Rowe. Your idea is great and heart felt. Are you running your shop by yourself.? Are you making all the products yourself? I don’t know if you need some kind of help?

Melisa K.
Melisa K.

January 30, 2018

Much appreciation for your service both in the military and the continued work you are doing for them with your work and donations to Stop Soldier Suicide. I was very happy to see the Micro Edition of Returning The Favor on FB and stopped by your website to make an order. It looks like you may be busy with the new baby and increased awareness that projects involving Mike Rowe can bring. I’ll check back again in a few weeks but wanted to add my two cents to the congratulations and appreciation.

Kathy Evans
Kathy Evans

January 30, 2018

I wanted to purchase one of the Navy flags for my son, but it says “Sold Out”. Is there a waiting list or how do I get one of these flags in the future?

Thanks for your service during and after the Army!

Anthony R
Anthony R

January 13, 2018

Any tips for someone who wants to join the Army? I’m 17 in March and I think it’s about time to get ready..

Brian Boushey
Brian Boushey

January 09, 2018

What made you choose the Army over any other branch?

Tony R.
Tony R.

January 09, 2018

Those ?’s are supposed to be emojis. Lol.

Tony R.
Tony R.

January 09, 2018

You’ve made some good lifelong buddies along the way! ? Excellent first blog post. ?

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