I wanted to find a special way to honor our veterans. I got a little tired of the media showing people disrespecting our flag, although I value their right to protest. Veterans put their life on the line to keep us free, and they should be saluted and thanked. Every day. So I thought I’d do something special for a couple veterans in my community: my dad and his neighbor.
For each of their front yards, I purchased a kit for a lighted flagpole, set the pole in cement, bought a large American flag and raised it for all to see. It made them each incredibly happy to display Old Glory in their yards.
People saw what I had done and started calling me, offering to pay to have that done for a veteran they knew. This was all happening right when I got downsized out of a job. I was pretty down and kept asking God what He wanted me to do with my life. And as these requests kept rolling in, I asked Him if this was His will for me.
I felt Him nudging me to continue and so I did. I started putting up more lighted flagpoles for veterans in my city, paying for it out of my own pocket. But the costs were mounting. I formed a nonprofit called Flags For Vets, and gave people a way to donate so we could cover the costs of doing this.
Now three years later, I’ve done this for over 420 veterans in 23 states. We’ll do this for any vet from any branch of service, and I’ve now traveled the country doing it.
I can see God’s handprints all over this. Whenever I’d face an obstacle, I’d pray and sooner or later, God would show me some way to overcome it. When money got really tight, a donation would somehow be made to keep me going. Then a flagpole manufacturer heard what we were doing and started helping us obtain the flagpoles.
We now have five different chapters—people in other parts of the country volunteering to put up these lighted flagpoles in areas where it’s too costly for me to travel. So we’re getting more flagpoles up for vets. I am amazed at how God has led me down this path and has continually provided me the ability to do this for our veterans.