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 years 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, as of December 2018, together with my customers we’ve donated more than $70,000 to Stop Soldier Suicide. $70,000!
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.