Follow the Flag is upon us once again and is shaping up to be more exciting each year. For this year, 2012, our flag of tribute will be from Ft. Hood Texas in memory of the Ft. Hood shootings of November 5, 2009 in which 38 were wounded and 13 killed.
Ft. Hood is the largest American military instillation and is home to the Army III Corps that led many of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As many of you well know, our primary outreach is to First Responders (Police, Fire and EMS agencies) and Military in time of disaster and crisis. In keeping with our mission goals, this is our annual tribute to our Vets and First Responders.
Events will take place a little earlier this year than in the past. Our weekend of events will be June 1,2 and 3 in Decatur Illinois. Friday June 1, will be our benefit dinner at the Lutheran School Association facility where the flag will be presented and carried in by uniformed color guard and all Vets, First Responders and survivors present.
Saturday, June2, will be our motorcycle rally. It seems hard to believe that all this grew out of our first rally five years ago. Kickstands up at noon from Coziahr HD and head for Lincoln’s Tomb and Veterans Memorial in Springfield where we will hold our memorial tribute and flag exchange.
A word on the flag exchange for those unfamiliar with that event. As stated above, our flag is from Ft. Hood, we also have a second small 3×5 from the Kileen School District which administrates several schools on base for our military families. We have several groups that participate in the ride that are not motorcyclist. Many youth and Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts participate, in fact we have some coming that will be with us for the fourth year. We allow the youth to lower the flag from the Tomb, fold it properly, and then raise the 3×5 from the schools on base. In turn, the flag that flew over the Tomb will be sent to the schools on base, giving them the flag from the 16th Presidents tomb. The rally ends at the Legion 105 Post with our Bikes, Blues and BBQ fun for the evening.
The weekend ends with a community service at Maranatha Assembly on Sunday June 3.
The BIG Kick Off will actually be on the Thursday (May 24) before the Memorial Day weekend at Lock Stock and Barrel for the Bike Night program where all Vets, First Responders and survivors will carry the flag in to the street festival.
Visitors now come from around the area and even the central part of the country for the event. So, if you are wanting to participate in a weekend of true patriotism and show your support for our Vets and First Responders, make plans to attend this years Follow the Flag. Call for dinner tickets early, we sold out the last two years and this year will be no exception. Individual tickets are $20 and tables are $150. Many businesses get on board early and purchase tables. So, call your friends and get your table now.
Call for details on the bike rally if you are not a rider and we’ll fill you in on how to participate. At the least you can come to the Bikes, Blues and BBQ that evening. And, don’t pass up the Sunday service, many people from the weekend attend and celebrate our Godly heritage and give thanks for the country God has blessed us with and those who serve us.
Donations are always welcome even if you can’t make it to the events and can be made securely on our website www.usecc.org via PayPal, all donations are tax deductible. Let me thank you for your prayers and support of this ministry, now more than ever before we need the presence of Godly Chaplains in our work as we face the increasingly difficult task that face us today.
May the Lord bless you greatly……………….Chaplain Steve