It began in 2005 as a gesture by a Vietnam veteran working as a nurse with veterans to bring some unity and comradery and healing into their lives. He had a Vietnam military flag he had brought home from the war with various unit patches on it and received permission to hang it up in the office where he worked. This flag soon developed a life of its own as many veterans asked if they could “sign” it as a feeling of identity and connection, and it soon became full of signatures, unit names and dates of tours in Vietnam.
Realizing the need for a more permanent and meaningful way to commemorate those who served, the flag was put reverently in a flag case and a trip made to ‘the Wall’ in Washington, D.C. It was placed at the base of the wall to be put in the Vietnam Memorial archives in addition to all the growing gifts at ‘the Wall’ to become a living memorial to honor the fallen and their families.
A new Vietnam military flag was acquired and it too, was soon filled with signatures, tours of duty and units from veterans on a PTSD treatment unit. The second and soon after, third flag has been taken to ‘the Wall’ with an accompanying plaque briefly describing it and left with the Park Service personnel. Five additional flags were signed (approx.-4000 signatures) at the Rolling Thunder Memorial Day 2012 event and left at ‘the Wall’. Recently the latest flag has been signed and left at the Ground-Breaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund Education Center, as veterans and loved ones from across this country have opportunity to simply ‘sign a flag’ as they seek help, closure and wellness. Our mission and vision continues. . . . . . .