Recognizing the sacrifice of generations of Fallen Service Members; establishing a national symbol of remembrance, educating, comforting and presenting personalized flags to Fallen Hero families.
On October 15, 2004, my son, Matthew Drake, was the only survivor of a suicide car-bombing, which took the lives of his two Psy Ops teammates, a Marine videographer, and their Iraqi interpreter. Due to his severe injuries, Matthew was unable to attend any of the memorial services for his fallen brothers. His injuries included multiple fractures and burns, but his most serious and life-altering one was a severe traumatic brain injury. As years passed he began to heal and to think more like an adult again. He regretted that he had not been there to pay his respects to the buddies he lost that awful day and especially worried about their mothers. We could never think of an appropriate way to reach out to their families to show that we did care, that they had never been forgotten. We heard about a Gold Star father, George Lutz, and the Honor and Remember Flag he created for his fallen hero son, Tony, and all those who had fallen before and after him in service to our country. I went to the website, and instantly we knew we'd found what we'd been looking for. Matthew wanted to present this special flag to the Gold Star Mothers of each of his "brothers." On October 15, 2008, four years to the day after the attack, He proudly and solemnly presented to the mother of SSG Michael Owen, mother of CPL Jonathan Santos, and mother of CPL William I. Salazar with beautiful personalized Honor and Remember Flags in a special ceremony. Through everyone's tears my son was finally able to stand proud, and show these moms just how much they mean to him, and to our nation, touching his heart and mine. Thank you George, God Bless you for giving us all the Honor and Remember Flag. Lisa