How to Win a U.S. Flag Actually Made in the U.S.A.

UPDATE May 31, 2014: Due to multiple submission errors awaiting response/correction, the winner and all Memorial photos will be announced and shared on Flag Day (June 14, 2014).


American Flag from Gettysburg Flag WorksAs Memorial Day approaches, we all think about two things: America’s Veterans killed in action and the American Flag.

On Memorial Day 2014, I would like to help honor all veterans (those who survived as well as those killed in action) and give everyone a chance to win a free “Made in the U.S.A.” 5′ x 8′ outdoor American flag.

All you need to do is submit a photo of you or a family member alongside your favorite veteran (living or deceased) and you’ll be entered for a chance to win.

Here’s the How & Why:

Many of us hold a special veteran very close in our hearts, and those of us who do, also appreciate the importance of flying America’s flag.  Almost every active duty service member and veteran in this country would obviously prefer flying an American Flag that was actually made in the U.S.A.

One U.S.-based flag maker has decided to team up with to encourage your help for a very special Memorial Day blog post.  My goal is to make my Memorial Day 2014 blog post the biggest Veterans & Family “memorial” photo album ever published.

Thanks to the folks at Gettysburg Flag Works, I get to encourage widespread photo submissions by offering a highly sought after patriotic item to one lucky winner. That’s because Gettysburg Flag Works has donated one of their very own 5′ x 8′ Outdoor American Flags as a grand prize, shipped to the winner directly from their New York home.

What could be better than honoring a veteran & maybe winning a FREE FLAG??

Here are the Photo Submission Rules:

  1. The photo submitted must be of yourself or a family member alongside (yours or their) favorite special veteran.  Please try to find photos with that veteran in uniform if possible..(but not required :)
  2. You must agree to the publication of this photo (to include your first name, veteran’s name & branch of service) in a Memorial Day post on
  3. You must submit your photo entry by May 19, 2014

If you’re okay with these terms, then follow this link to submit your entry.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR PHOTOS, America!  And BIG THANKS to Gettysburg Flag Works for their generous assistance.  Need a new American Flag? Consider buying a Flag that’s “Made in America” from the patriotic folks at Gettysburg Flag Works!

Gettysburg Flag Works



Fallen But Not Forgotten: The True Story of American War Hero Ed W. Freeman

Major Ed Freeman Ed “Too Tall” Freeman was a Master Sergeant in the Army Corps of Engineers, who fought in Korea as an infantryman. He took part in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and was one of only 14 survivors out of 257 men who made it through the opening stages of the battle.

For his Korean service, Ed was awarded a Battlefield Commission. The Commission allowed him the opportunity to apply to flight school, but at 6’4″, the 6’2″ height restriction prevented him from eligibility, earning him the nickname “Too Tall.”

In 1955, the Army’s height regulations changed, allowing Ed to attend flight school. He earned his wings at Ft. Rucker, Alabama and began flying fixed-wing aircraft, and eventually helicopters.

1st CalvaryAfter logging thousands of hours in choppers, Ed was sent to Vietnam in 1965, assigned to the 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile). He was second in command of a sixteen-helicopter unit responsible for carrying infantrymen into battle.

On Nov. 14, 1965, Ed’s helicopters carried a battalion into the Ia Drang Valley for what became the first major confrontation between large forces of the American and North Vietnamese armies.

Back at base, Ed and the other pilots received word that the soldiers they had dropped off were taking heavy casualties and running low on supplies. In fact, the fighting was so fierce that Medevac helicopters refused to pick up the wounded.

First Calvary Division AirmobileWhen the commander of the helicopter unit asked for volunteers to fly into the battle zone, Freeman alone stepped forward. He was joined by his commander, and the two of them began several hours of flights into the contested area.

Because their small emergency-landing zone was just one hundred yards away from the heaviest fighting, their unarmed and lightly armored helicopters took several hits.

Ed Freeman StoryIn all, Freeman carried out fourteen separate rescue missions, bringing in water and ammunition to the besieged soldiers and taking back dozens of wounded, some of whom wouldn’t have survived if they hadn’t been evacuated. For these actions, Ed was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on July 16, 2001, by President George W. Bush for his “conspicuous gallantry” during his many rescue missions. .

Ed passed away on August 20, 2008 at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He was 80 years old. 
In March 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating the U.S. Postal Service facility located at 103 West Main Street in McLain, Mississippi, as the ‘Major Ed W. Freeman Post Office’. 
Veterans Day

Veterans Day FREE Meals 2012

Looking for Veterans Day Free Meals 2013?  Visit: The Military Wallet

The following establishments are soon to be offering FREE or discounted MEALS to U.S. Military Veterans on or around Veterans Day 2012. 

All locations require either a Military ID or other proof of military service such as a U.S. Uniform Service ID card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID card, current Leave and Earnings statement, a veterans organization membership I.D. card such as American Legion or VFW, or a DD214.

Please Note: Some of the long-time annual participants listed have yet to release their 2012 details and links, so keep checking back for updates as we get closer to Veterans Day 2012.  Also, please note that virtually all of these Veterans Day meals do not include a beverage or a tip for your server.  Please be kind and remember to thank your servers as they thank you.

Applebee’s– Sunday, November 11th 2012 Choose a free meal from this special Veteran’s Day menu that includes steak, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, salad, and more.  Find locations:


Bar Louie – Sunday November 11th, and Monday November 12th: Free meal (Up to $11) Active duty military members and veterans can receive a free meal, up to $11 in value, and a free non-alcoholic beverage. Available at all locations, military ID or proof of service is required. See FaceBook page for more info.


Chili’s – Sunday, November 11th, 2012 from 11am until 5pm Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 8 entrees including the Oldtimer with cheese, Chicken Crisps, Margarita Grilled Chicken, Classic Full Turkey sandwich, Lighter Choice Chicken Salad, Soup and Salad Combo, Cajun Chicken Pasta, or the Bacon/Chicken/Ranch Quesadilla at participating Chili’s in the U.S. Dine-in only; beverages not included.  Find locations.


Denny’s Veterans Day All You Can Eat Pancakes, Monday, November 12th, 2012 to any veteran with valid Military I.D. from 6:00am – 10:00pm.


Famous Dave’s – Veterans Day 2012:  Free Two Meat Salute or 25% off or $10 off your meal depending upon location.  Offer varies by location, please call your local restaurant for more information.


Golden Corral – Free meal, Monday Nov. 12th, 2012: The 11th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner will be held on Monday, November 12, 2012 from 4 pm to 9 pm in all Golden Corral Restaurants nationwide. For more information visit


Hooters – 10 Free Boneless Wings, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 Offer good for all veterans and active duty military personnel.  Drink purchase required. Offer valid at participating Hooters.  For more information, visit

Veterans Day Free MealsHyVee - Free Breakfast Monday, November 12, 2012. Choose from a wide variety of breakfast foods set out on a buffet.  In-store dining only.

Veterans Day Free MealsKrispy Kreme – Free doughnut and small coffee Sunday November 11th. Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees & veterans.  Call ahead to verify.
Veterans Day Free Meals
Little Caesar’s – Free Crazy Bread Monday, November 12th 2012
To be eligible for the free Crazy Bread, you must show valid ID, DD-214 or veterans designation on the drivers license. Call ahead to determine if your local store is participating.
Sunday, November 11, 2012, participating Max & Erma’s locations are serving a free cup of Tortilla Soup or side Caesar Salad, Cheeseburger, fries and chocolate chip cookie. View locations

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – Sunday, November 11th, 2012: Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée & must provide proof of military service. Valid at participating restaurants only.  M&S Veterans Appreciation Event.

Free entrees available on Sunday, Nov. 11 are Olive Garden’s cheese ravioli; spaghetti with meat sauce; chicken parmigiana; seafood alfredo; or grilled sausage and peppers rustica.  If a lighter meal is preferred, customers with proper military ID can order free unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks.


Outback Steakhouse – Sunday November 11th and Monday November 12th: Outback Steakhouse® will give a Free Bloomin’ Onion® and a Coca-Cola® beverage on November 11-12, 2012 in celebration of Veterans Day. Then continues with the Military Mates 10% Off Discount from November 13-December 31, 2012.

Red Robin – Monday, November 12th , 2012 all Red Robin guests with a military ID or in military uniform will receive a Free Red’s Tavern Double (styled or classic) and Bottomless Steak Fries. Red Robin is also partnering with Heinz to benefit the Wounded Warrior project.  Whenever a guest scans the QR code on the Heinz ketchup bottles in restaurants or from the fabric banners displayed; guests can send a thank you note.  For every thank you note received Heinz will donate $1.00 to the Wounded Warrior project.  Red Robin will match up to $10,000 to the Wounded Warrior project.


Texas Roadhouse – Sunday November 11th: Every Texas Roadhouse location is offering free lunch event to honor the men and women of our armed forces. ID Required. Watch the Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day page .


T.G.I. Friday’s – Monday, November 12th 2012: Free Lunch from 11-2 from the lunch menu.  Valid for all US Military personnel and veterans. Must wear uniform (if permitted by your service) or present military ID or other proof of service.  Only valid at participating locations. Find a location near you at


Twin Peaks, Sunday November 11th, 2012: Free entrée for service men and women (up to $10). Good for veterans and active service personnel with valid ID or proof of service. Dine in only. Find a location.


Uno Chicago Grill, Sunday November 11th and Monday November 12th. UNO Chicago Grill is offering veterans and active military members a free entrée or individual pizza with the purchase of an entrée or pizza of equal or greater value. Military ID or proof of service is required, but no coupon is needed. more…

Free Museum Admission for Active Duty Military

LogoThanks to the Blue Star Families Museums Initiative, more than 1,600 museums across the country offer free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families in a summer program that runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day nationwide.

To view the complete list of participating museums visit the Blue Star Museums Website:

Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable through programs and partnerships like Operation Honor Cards, MilKidz Club and Blue Star Museums.

Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and the civilians who strongly support them. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit

Send a Hospitalized Veteran a Free Message of Thanks this Memorial Day

Write your message online by May 18th and the VFW will print and deliver it at no cost to you. What an awesome thing to do during Military Appreciation Month for a hospitalized veteran this Memorial Day!


by May 18, 2012

Memorial Day is right around the corner. Will you show our nation’s hospitalized veterans you respect their sacrifice for our American freedoms?  VFW is asking you to sign a Thank You card.

When you do, we’ll print a real card with your name on it to be placed in the hands of a hospitalized veteran who needs to know that their sacrifice has not been forgotten.

Signing the card shows you honor the fallen … stand strong for the wounded … and carry those still fighting in your heart and in your prayers.

Sign the CardPlease respond by May 18 so VFW can deliver signed cards to as many hospitalized veterans as possible. With your help, we’ll show unwavering respect and support FOR VETERANS.

You can help VFW reach even more lonely veterans in 3 easy steps:

Star 01

Sign your card

and we’ll print it and deliver it to a hospitalized veteran.

Star 02 Invite your email contacts!
Forward this to your friends, family and co-workers.
Star 03 Get your network involved—ask your Facebook friends to sign a card, too

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VA New Veterans Retraining Program for Unemployed Veterans 35-60

Unemployed veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 years old can now obtain 12 months of government training assistance, thanks to the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

The Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications on May 15, 2012 for veterans interested in going back to school!

Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Labor (DoL) are working together to roll out this new program on July 1, 2012.

The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to “unemployability”
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

The program is limited to 45,000 participants during fiscal year 2012, and to 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants will receive a monthly payment equal to the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). DoL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates or applies to the VRAP program.

Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.

VRAP will provide training for programs of education that lead to a high demand occupation, as determined by the Department of Labor. Click here to see a listing of high demand occupations.

The Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs will begin accepting applications on May 15, 2012. To complete the application, you will need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high demand occupation.

Related Story:  June 28, 2012  Joint VA/DOL Veterans Retraining Assistance Program Reaches Important Milestone – Over 25,000 Unemployed Veterans Have Applied