Boots on the Ground for Heroes

Start Date: 2021-05-31

Description: Launched in 2016, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island’s (OSDRI) Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial presents almost 7,000 combat boots adorned with flags and placards. Each boot represents the life of a United States service member killed in action post 9-11. The placard attached to each boot displays the name and photo of the fallen along with biological information, military branch, rank, and circumstances of death. The memorial is updated yearly to incorporate additional service members killed in the ongoing Global War on Terror. At the request of OSDRI, Rafter and I deployed to their annual Memorial Day Weekend event to help remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country in the post 9-11 Global War on Terror. This outdoor event is held rain or shine and this year the weather was unusually cold and very rainy. Despite the overcast skies and light drizzle many, many people came out on Memorial Day to pay their respects to our fallen heroes. Rafter and I were greeted warmly by many folks in attendance including lots and lots of children, a Gold Star mother, Rhode Island Congressman Langevin and OSDRI staff and volunteers. We also made a connection with representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs which may present other opportunities for HOPE AACR to support our nation’s veterans. OSDRI presented Rafter and me with an OSDRI/Boots on the Ground for Heroes medallion in appreciation of our participation at Stand Down Weekend over the years and this year’s Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial.

Agency: Operation Stand Down Rhode Island
Teams: None