Last Christmas, a member from Flags and Honor of Minnesota was making his yearly rounds, delivering holiday greetings and gift cards to veterans in need. When he arrived at the home of one veteran, the volunteer noticed a house that didn’t feel prepared for the holiday season.
“No Christmas tree, no presents, kids running around,” describes Scott Bradley, president of Flags and Honor of Minnesota, a local nonprofit dedicated to serving veterans. “It puts it in perspective. Really hits home that you can help.”
Flags and Honor of Minnesota was established in 2016 with the goal of practicing its mission “to serve and protect the honor of our veterans,” Bradley says. As we prepare to observe Veterans Day (observed on the 11th this year), nearly 1.5 million veterans are living in poverty in the U.S. The call for Bradley to provide assistance is personal—his dad served in the Navy. “None of us are paid in any way,” Bradley says with pride. “It’s a hundred percent volunteers.”
The volunteer organization, currently comprised of roughly 37 men and women, raises money to help provide funds and services to local vets and their families when they’re in need. They’ve paid for funerals and memorials, as well as helped people out with utility bills and car repairs. All expenditures are vetted through the Carver County Veteran’s Service Office, guaranteeing that the money is going toward worthy causes that benefit those who have served our country.
Its main fundraiser is a car show, which took place in August of this year in Chaska. With food and drink donated by local bars and restaurants, the event’s proceeds went to the organization.
“This is a way of honoring them,” Bradley says. “Thanking them for giving their service to our country and allowing us to enjoy our freedom [at home].”