Army-Navy Game to Honor 7000 Fallen Soldiers with Special Flag Memorial

by Matthew Memrick
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(Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Saturday’s Army-Navy Game will have a special flag memorial to honor 7,000 fallen soldiers.

Thousands of sports fans will get to see the Veterans and Athletes United (VAU) Global War on Terror Memorial Flag, a unique American flag dog tag display. 

On Friday, the flag’s design stopped at Fox News Square outside the network’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan. 

The traveling memorial honors America’s fallen service members. Creator and retired U.S. Army Captain James Howard said the memorial travels 95 percent of the time with stops at 60 locations across the country since Memorial Day in 2018. 

The annual football game is at Met Life Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

FOX Show Talks With Veterans About Project

Howard and Fox News contributor Johnny “Joey” Jones, a Marine veteran, and former EOD bomb technician, discussed the flag memorial during a segment on “Fox & Friends.”

Howard, who helped build the dog tag flag, told show guests that he had “a lot of friends on that flag (display)” and that each tag had a “personal story of heroism.”

The man’s personal story is impressive. Howard joined the Army in 2002 and served for eight years. He reached the rank of captain and completed Ranger, Sapper, Jumpmaster, and Special Forces courses. In 2010, he medically retired after numerous injuries left him a quadriplegic.

But Howard didn’t stop working after retirement. He founded nonprofit groups, Veterans and Athletes United, and REACHcycles to support children and veterans with disabilities.

After its completion in 2018, Howard’s VAU group has traveled with the flag to small towns and New York City with the memorial. 

The group gave it a good display during the 20th anniversary ceremonies of the 9/11 attacks. The display visited the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for Memorial and Veterans days. 

The memorial, he explained, was something his group wanted to do because there was nothing out there honoring those who died during the War on Terror. 

Howard talked about the flag display’s 28-feet wide, six-foot-tall design. The flag’s assembly takes about 90 minutes to set up and break down.

American Flag Memorial Continues Adding Tags

The retired captain said the memorial travels the country to bring awareness to America’s heroes and their service and dedication. It also serves to honor the families of those fallen service members.

“We put it in the shape of an American flag that’s draped over a fallen service member’s casket, something where someone in a wheelchair, I’m in a wheelchair myself, can see the bottom tags and the top tags,” Howard told Audacity.com.

According to Howard, additional tags add to the flag display over time.

The man is the president of the all-volunteer Veterans and Athletes United (VAU). He said his nonprofit organization supports disabled veterans and their families.

The group is working to build a second flag memorial. 

Howard said he feels the group’s effort is “humbling” and “pretty amazing.” He’s seen the reflection and healing families experience when they find their loved one’s tags. 

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