Operation Honor was formed more 10 years ago when veterans and patriots decided they wanted to give something back. Before they started selling flag cases, the organization built tailgating equipment for troops overseas, including custom-made cornhole games in a project they deemed Tailgates for Troops.
But in 2015, when Joe Montgomery, the organization’s founder, attended a funeral at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North in Williamstown, something clicked in his mind. He noticed the flag case had a “Made in China” sticker. From there, he began brainstorming ways his organization could change this.
“That day, I decided to see if Operation Honor could do something about that and start having our veterans handcraft burial flag cases for our veterans’ cemeteries,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery was able to make his dream a reality and since then, Operation Honor has sold hundreds of hand-crafted flag cases made by veterans for veterans, in the United States.
The veterans make each case to sell and donate to veteran cemeteries across the nation. Each case is signed by the veteran who made it with their name and where they served. Recently, they received permission to sell their veteran-made flag cases at Arlington National Cemetery.
“We are the only burial flag case offered at Arlington National Cemetery right now. They are made by our veterans here in Kentucky,” Montgomery said.
As a nonprofit, the organization runs on donations both monetary and physical.
Last November, Jack’s Glass in Northern Kentucky donated 250 pieces of glass to Operation Honor. Drew Fassler, the owner of Jack’s Glass, also pledged to provide Operation Honor with as much glass as they need for the cost of the glass.
InstaTrim also created and donated a custom-colored adhesive to match the wood to hold the glass in place on the cases.
“The fact that I know that this flag case is going to be taking a position of honor in somebody’s house of some family that I’ll never meet or know, it brings a sense of accomplishment knowing that you can give back in one way, shape or another,” Air Force veteran Mike Crum said.
Operation Honor has been working hard to try and raise money to build a Veterans Warehouse and Technical Center.
For now, they have been borrowing properties from those willing to let them use their space. Once their warehouse is up and running, they hope they will be able to hire more veterans and expand the list of products offered.