MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines of Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment received pocket American flags here 15 July from Brenda Brummer, a volunteer with the Pocket Flag Project, shortly before deploying to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Brummer folded over three hundred flags for the company by herself then drove six hours to Camp Lejeune to deliver the flags to the deploying Marines.
“When I look at the flags I have made I think of the people who have given part or all of their lives for this country,” said LuWanda Ford, founder of the Pocket Flag Project and sister of Brummer.
The project started in October 2001 as a civic and patriotic endeavor by a group of Cub Scouts out of patriotism and respect for the flag.
“One of the boys asked if all the flags they folded were enough for all the troops deployed overseas,” Brummer said.
The question inspired Ford to start the project for deployed and deploying troops.
Since the groups inception, the Pocket Flag Project has folded 685,000 flags for all branches of the military deployed around the world.
All the work for the project comes from volunteer workers including donations to purchase supplies.
“Our goal is to distribute as many flags to deployed troops in Afghanistan and Iraq allowing us to show our unwavering support,” Ford said.
The flag starts out as a rectangle approximately 14 inches by 10 inches. The finished product is able to fit in the palm of your hand, but holds enough support and respect to last the length of their deployment, Ford said.
Each volunteer places the flag in a small plastic bag with a piece of paper containing a message of thanks and contact information for the project.
Marines are allowed to either have the flag in their pockets or display them in their work areas during their deployment.
Most leave them in their left breast pocket over their heart, Ford said.
“The flags give the Marines a piece of America, something tangible to hold on to so they remember why they are here,” said Capt. Jim W. Lively, commanding officer of the company.