Armed Forces Day

May 15, 2015

Armed ForcesSaturday, May 16, 2015 is Armed Forces Day. According to the Department of Defense website, Harry Truman established this as a national holiday, to thank our military for their service to this great country. Instead of individual Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps holidays, President Truman promoted the unity of our armed forces under the Department of Defense.

According to the DoD website, on Feb 27, 1950, President Truman stated, “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”

One of the main purposes for setting aside one day for all branches was to educate the public and promote patriotism. Parades, air shows and parties marked this first holiday, with over 40,000 US Troops marching worldwide, and tens of thousands of citizens participating in parades.

In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “It is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world.”

JointcolorsOur Servicemen and women are serving throughout the world as guardians of peace – many of them away from their homes, their friends and their families. They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve. They are also evidence of a harsh but inescapable truth – that the survival of freedom requires great cost and commitment, and great personal sacrifice.”

On that day in history, many other notable events occurred: The Red Cross celebrated 69 years, Britain stopped most of its rationing, and the Soviets returned 23 East German industrial plants to East German authorities.

What will you do this year to honor our military?


Flag Holidays

January 12, 2015

Some of you have asked when we should be flying our flags this year. According to USFlag.org, the following are 2015’s flag holidays*:

New Year’s Day, January 1st

Inauguration Day, January 20th, every time a new President is elected

Martin Luther King’s Birthday

Lincoln’s Birthday

Washington’s Birthday

Easter Sunday

Patriots Day, April 19 (not to be confused with Patriot Day, which is September 11th, another day in which to proudly display the stars and stripes)

National Day of Prayer, the 1st Thursday of May

Mother’s Day

Armed Forces Day, Every third Saturday in May to celebrate and thank the US Military in all five branches, Army, Navy, Air Force, US Marine Corps, and the US Coast Guard.

Memorial Day (half-staff until noon)

Flag Day, June 14th

Independence Day, July 4th.

Labor Day, (First Monday of September)

Patriot Day, September 11th. This day is observed to honor the victims of the September 11, 2001 tragedy. You may see flags raised at half staff on this day.

Constitution Day, September 17th

Columbus Day, October 12th

Navy Day, October 27th

Veterans Day, November 11th (Easy for me to remember because my nephew was born on this day and my older brother himself is a veteran)

Thanksgiving Day (last Thursday of every November)

Christmas Day

Election Days

And of course, on your state birthday! Click here to find your state’s birthday. Usually the flag is to be risen at sunrise and taken down at sunset, on days when weather permits.

Note: In addition to all of this, the flag can also be flown as directed by the President of the United States.

*These dates are to the best of my knowledge.

~CD


United States Air Force

September 18, 2014

milaf23n_-00_air-force-flag-2x3ft-nylonToday the United States Air Force turns 67 years old. Under the National Security Act of 1947 signed on September 18 aboard President Harry S. Truman’s VC-54C presidential transport (the forerunner to the Air Force One), this Act re-structured the military’s agencies after WWII, creating the Department of the Air Force. This is the most recent, largest, most technologically advanced Air Force in the world. In 1907, the War Department the first preceding Air Force. In WWII almost 68,000 US Airmen died helping win the war. Before 1947 Air Defense was shared between the Department of Army for land based operations, The Navy for sea-based operations from aircraft carriers and amphibious air craft and The Marine Corps for close air support for infantry operations.

In general the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned. It shall be organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 502)

FLGIMGS1000000428_-00_Lackland-Air-Force-Base-Image-Downloadable-Image_3The USAF core functions today are Nuclear Deference Operations, Special Operations, Air Superiority, Global Integrated ISR, Space Superiority, Command & Control, Cyberspace Superiority, Personal Recovery, Global Precision Attack, Building Partnerships, Rapid Global Mobility and Agile Combat Support. A very long list I had no idea the Air Force did to maintain our National defense until researching their Birthday.

67 years does not seem to be a long time, considering we have only been using air craft to support ground troops since The Korean War. My daddy was in the Air Force during the late 50’s- early 60’s. Daddy was a diesel mechanic and worked on planes. He was stationed mainly in the Azores and then at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan where he met and married my momma. My daddy passed away in 2010 and there is not a day that passes that I do not miss him. He was a GREAT story teller. So to all of our Airmen, past, present and future:

Off we go into the wild blue yonder, Climbing high into the sun

**Jacquie

(The Airforce Song Words and Music by Captain Robert Crawford, ©1939)


You Are Not Alone

June 19, 2014

June is PTSD Awareness Month.

My Disclaimer

I have noticed that a large portion of our US Flag Store community “likes” the posts on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I wanted to dig a little deeper. It’s a sensitive, serious subject, and please correct me gently if I step on any toes. PTSD is a broad term used to describe any disorder triggered by severe trauma. While we use it on our website to refer to military personnel and vets who suffer because of it, it is a very real condition for many who have never been in battle. I cannot imagine the trauma suffered by those who have.

I started by going to the militarymentalhealth.org website and taking their quiz on PTSD. After filling out some basic information I was directed to four questions signifying the criteria for diagnosis:

  1. Did you have nightmares about the event, or thought about it when you did not want to OR
  2. Went out of your way to avoid situations and places that reminded you of the event OR
  3. Were constantly on guard and easily startled OR
  4. Felt detached from others and your surroundings

My first husband committed suicide. I have been abused, among other things I’d care not to share online. Additionally, in the last 8 months I have gone through a divorce (second husband), terminal cancer diagnosis for/subsequent care of/death of a parent, job change, city relocation, home purchase; I figured if any civilian was borderline suffering from something traumatic, it would be me. Not. I passed with flying colors. However, I immediately answered “yes” to all four questions answering for my boyfriend, whose teenage son was killed in an auto accident.

I already knew I can’t possibly fathom what he lives with, day in and day out. So here is the tender part: I am writing about something whose depths I do not understand. If you are reading this, please don’t misunderstand that I think I know what you are going through, that I could offer platitudes or begin to understand what you have seen and felt. You deserve more than that. I read over this article after it is finished and my words seem so trite. It was an exercise in educating myself. Please take my findings as simply that: a collection of resources that I found online, that may direct you to help if you or someone you love needs it.

You Are Not Alone!

Important thing to remember: You are not alone. This can’t be said enough. 7.7 million Americans aged 18 and over suffer from PTSD, also known as shell shock or combat stress. It can be brought on by a variety of events, regardless whether you were physically harmed or not. Common symptoms include nightmares, sleeplessness, depression, numbness, anger, irritability, inability to focus, and myriad other things that reduce your quality of life. Symptoms often do not manifest immediately, and may not be constant.

Factors that can contribute to an event leading to PTSD include intensity, physical pain, loss of loved one, proximity, lack of control, and lack of support after the event. That last one screams that it is imperative to get support as soon as possible, even if you feel fine at the time.

Many sufferers report handing the condition with drinking, suicidal thoughts, workaholism, and isolation.  These things actually eventually exacerbate the issues.

Is there help?

There is. PTSD has been recognized as a viable condition and researchers from around the world have increased our understanding of it and how to treat it. Medication and counseling are the two most effective methods of treatment. Counseling can help you understand and cope with what you are feeling while medications can block feelings of excessive despair. You can make lifestyle changes to help you on the path to recovery also – communicating with loved ones about what places or situations make you uncomfortable; volunteering in your local community can offer you the support you need. Start by talking to someone if you notice you are having a tough time: your spouse, best friend, doctor, or religious advisor. Connect with others who have been there, who can help  you know what to expect and what things worked for them, and who will offer to be there for you if you feel you have nowhere else to go. That is one place I know we all have been!

Explore some of these resources, many of them free – they are my resources for this writing:

Military Pathways

Vet Centers

Understanding PTSD Booklet 

Understanding PTSD Treatment

PTSD Program Locator 

And once again, whether you are Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, we here at US Flag Store genuinely thank you for your service!


Military Patches

August 16, 2010

If you’ve already bought a U.S. Flag Store Military Flag to honor your loved one in the Service but are looking for another way to show your support, then check out the U.S. Flag Store’s Military and POW Patches. For as little as $1.99, you can show your support for your loved one serving by stitching or ironing one of these patches onto your coat or bag.  All Military and POW patches are beautifully embroidered and have a vinyl backing.

If you’re looking for classic logos, the U.S. Flag Store sells traditional circular and rectangular U.S. Military Patches.  You’ll have your choice of a patch with the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy logo.  Each embroidered circular patch is three inches in diameter, has a vinyl backing for durability, and beautiful gold trim.  These great patches are just $1.99—33% off the list price.  Discounts are available for buying five or more patches, so order some patches for your friends and family as well!

The rectangular military patches are of the highest quality and very detailed in their design.  These 3½” x 2¼” patches are machine embroidered, enabling exact duplication of the finest details of the military logos.  Choose from the Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, or Navy emblems.  The Army and Coast Guard patches also include the year each service branch began, 1775 and 1790, respectively.  These patches are just $2.49 each and can be sewn or ironed onto clothing.

The POW/MIA Patch is black and white and includes a silhouette of a man’s head in front of a watchtower and barbed wire fence.  The text “POW/MIA” and the motto, “You Are Not Forgotten,” are also included on the patch.  The embroidered POW patch is 3” by 2¼” and has a vinyl backing.  At just $1.99 each and with discounts available for buying five or more, this POW patch is a great way to muster your family and friends’ support for you during this most stressful time.

These military patches are truly a great, affordable way for you and your family and friends to show your support for your loved one in the U.S. Armed Services.  So start wearing your pride on your sleeve and order your patches today!