Jamie Popwell served in the U.S. Marine Corps and describes himself as fiercely patriotic.
“My love for country is second only to God and family,” said Powell.

Jamie Popwell served in the U.S. Marine Corps and describes himself as fiercely patriotic.
“My love for country is second only to God and family,” said Powell.
His military service forged a loyalty and commitment to his country and fellow veterans that motivated Popwell to pay it forward to as many military service members as possible to recognize their sacrifice and service.

His initial idea has become the nonprofit group, Flags for Vets. Its simple concept – supplying a flagpole and a flag for veterans at no charge – has become very popular.
Popwell has supplied 114 veterans with flagpoles and flags, including six Medal of Honor recipients, since February 2017.

Saturday, he will honor three veterans in Leavenworth and Lansing with flagpoles, flags and solar lights in their yards: Charles Hagemeister, U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipient, Greg Bakian, U.S. Army, and Craig Savidge, U.S. Army.
“I felt that with all the media coverage surrounding the ‘right’ to burn our flag, or step on our flag, there was a need to counter that with a show of respect for those who fought for that very freedom,” said Popwell.

He will visit each of the recipients’ homes, meet with them and determine where they would like the flagpole to be placed. He will gather information about their service, then install the flagpole. Then he will take photos to post on social media and on the Flags for Vets website so others can celebrate the service members’ experiences.
Popwell lives in Alabama. “I will drive anywhere within the four states that surround me and I have flown to New Mexico, Idaho, West Virginia and Kentucky and I have driven as far west as Texas to install flagpoles for veterans,” said Popwell.

The initial costs for the service were paid by Popwell, but after more and more people heard of the service, he soon began receiving so many texts, phone calls and messages from people who knew of a veteran and wanted to sponsor them that he opened a PayPal account linked to flagsforvets1@gmail.com for those who would like to contribute or sponsor a veteran.
Popwell’s vetting process is simple. He asks for a DD-214 and some basic information about the veteran.

“There is no age limit, branch of service or need to have served in a conflict,” said Popwell. “I will honor your service no matter what you did or where you served.”
The list of veterans that have been honored goes back to World War II and stretches to veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom.
For Popwell, the visits to veterans are not simply about flagpole installations. He takes the time to get to know the man or woman being honored, listens to their stories and provides help with referrals if they need a point of contact at the local VA. He also takes notes for future postings and he follows up with them.

An online store has also been set up to raise money for the flagpoles where people can purchase T-shirts, caps, bracelets and coins.
Popwell’s hope is to honor veterans in all 50 states by opening chapters of Flags for Vets in regions all over the country. And his mission is to ensure that as many veterans as possible are honored.
The Flags for Vets website is www.flagsforvets.us