May 29, 2017
Patriotism is a core value among the aggregates industry. It can be seen in the number of military veterans working in operations across the nation, and it can be seen in the volunteer activities of many industry leaders.
One such leader, Tom Dupuis, manager of the environmental and engineering departments at Dolese Bros. Co., volunteers much of his time to many military-related efforts. I interviewed him last year about his work with veteran Bob Lambert on the Oklahoma Military Spirit Medal, which recognizes graduating high school students heading into military service.
For those who have served, or are currently serving, Dupuis once again partnered with Lambert on Project Oklahoma Star. “In order to help honor veterans or military members, they take old, worn, and tattered American flags — those that have embroidered stars on them — and turn them into ‘thank you’s’ for military personnel defending the country,” Dupuis says. “It’s a simple thing.”
The field of stars is separated from the stripes, which are retired at a formal flag ceremony according to the U.S. Flag Code, while the grommets are turned into key chains for active duty servicemen and women.
The stars are then cut into individual pieces and placed in a bag with a note that says:
I’m part of an American flag that you serve. I proudly represented the USA. I can no longer fly. The sun and storms have caused me to become tattered and torn. Treasure me near your heart as a reminder that you are loved and not forgotten.
-From a thankful American
Once packaged, the stars are distributed to veterans or current military personnel, often becoming a prized possession. The volunteer group has received letters from GIs who say they keep the star in their shirt pockets or in their wallets when they are deployed as a constant reminder that they are not forgotten.