The clothes worn by soldiers in combat are being put to good use saving the lives of American veterans.
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“The purpose of Combat Flags is really to support veteran-owned and operated nonprofits who are working to lower the suicide epidemic rates within the military community,” Combat Flags CEO Dan Berei told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.
Combat Flags takes “duty-worn” fatigues from each branch of the military and turns them into American-style flags. The company then donates half of the profits from selling its $35 flags to veterans’ suicide prevention programs, Berei said.
According to the Veterans’ Administration’s most recent data, in 2017 the suicide rate for veterans was 1.5 times that of the non-veteran adult population.
Berei described combat uniforms as the most iconic and recognizable piece of military gear.
“I figured if I could take something that we all have so much of and turn it into something that I could share with the world, that they could hold and touch and feel, they’d get a sense of what it means to serve,” he said.
To further impart this meaning of service, Berei said that each flag comes with a short story about the individual soldier who wore the material used to make it. This, he added, helps to make military service personal, giving names to those who served, as opposed to thinking of them in large numbers.
Berei started Combat Flags with $50 three years ago and has grown it into a business that has sold tens of thousands of flags and given away over $61,000, he said.
Berei credits the success of his company to its support for a nonprofit organization called Stop Soldier Suicide.