Ben Russell, NBC 5 News
It takes a lot of time and hard work to gather the collection of 70,000 flags, but it is a labor of love for Cleburne-based Flags for Fallen Vets.
An army of volunteers will be busy placing an American flag at the grave of every man and woman buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend.
"Our fallen heroes need to be honored. They fought for our country. They died for it, in many cases," said James Fox, organizer for Cleburne-based Flags for Fallen Vets. "And they need to have some honor, some recognition."
This is the second year that Fox, a U.S. Navy veteran and U.S. Postal Service retiree, and Bob Fussner, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, have taken up the task.
They have assembled volunteers to place the flags and have relied heavily on donations to purchase them.
It takes a lot of time and hard work to gather the collection of 70,000 flags, but it is a labor of love.
"It's important to us to honor their service," Fox said.
Their effort began when Fussner learned that the DFW National Cemetery did not have the budget to purchase flags for all of the men and women buried there.
Word of their effort spread and, this year, Flags for Fallen Vets is expanding its service to Houston National Cemetery.
Next year Fussner and Fox plan to expand further and place flags at the graves of veterans at a national cemetery in Florida.
Fox said their efforts are as much for the relatives of the veterans as they are for those who served, so that "they know that their fallen heroes, their family members aren't forgotten, that we honor their service to our country."
On Friday night, Fox and Fussner conducted one last walk-through of the donated warehouse that houses the flags.
They and their volunteers on Saturday morning will place flags on the graves of veterans buried at a Cleburne cemetery. On Sunday, a larger contingent will put flags on gravesides at DFW National Cemetery.