STILLWATER – For 13 minutes, participants stood silently and stoically while remembering military personnel who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
The inaugural Stillwater Stand to Honor event – which continues through next Monday and is hosted and held at Eskimo Joe’s – is raising money to fund educational scholarships for Owasso-based Folds of Honor.
In the past decade, Folds of Honor has awarded more than 12,000 scholarships to more than 1,600 families in all 50 states, according to Vice President Ben Leslie, an Oklahoma State University graduate.
OSU had 22 recipients last year alone, Leslie said.
Robert Megrew, who served 4 ½ years in the Navy, stopped by the restaurant with his family for lunch and was impressed to learn about the Stand to Honor event and to see the street lined with American flags.
“I think this is awesome,” Megrew said while standing atop an ammo box that with a plaque that read, “This monument contains boot prints representing the fallen service members of the United States Navy. Their selflessness, patriotism, and love for country will always be remembered.”
Other plaques were more personal including one that read, “This monument contains the boot prints of Major Blair ‘Bama’ Faulkner, USAF 1968-2008.”
“Those that gave their life knew what they were standing up for,” Megrew said. “The families are the ones still suffering.”
Stand to Honor is a community-wide event that asks participants to donate $13.
The 13 minutes and $13 represents the 13 folds in American flags given to families of deceased military personnel.
Folds of Honor is also challenging participants to shoot a photo or take a video with an American Flag and include #STWStandToHonor and the phrase, “Give $13 and stand with me to honor our flag, our fallen and our future.”
Anyone can donate $13 by texting “Joe” to 36413.
Roughly 86 cents of every dollar raised for Folds of Honor goes toward giving educational scholarships to eligible spouses and children of disabled or diseased military service members.
Annual scholarships up to $5,000 help pay for tuition, fees, books or housing.
More information can be found at foldsofhonor.org.
More than $9 billion would be needed to provide educational scholarships to dependents of all the diseased and disabled military personnel, according to data from Folds of Honor.
Tim Holland, general manager of Eskimo Joe’s, hopes that participation continues to build through next Monday as they help raise awareness and money.
About 20 members of the Stillwater Multi-Jurisdictional Special Operations Team donated $400 and stood for 13 minutes Wednesday.
“The Stillwater fire fighting union matched our donation so we were able to give $800,” Stillwater police Lt. Dale Higgins said.
Stillwater patrol officer Elliot Blakey spent four years in the Marine Corps. and was happy to participate.
“The war has been going on a long time and has largely been forgotten,” Blakey said. “It is nice to see people who weren’t in the military who still care.”
April Van Ausdall, who heard about the event and brought about 10 Ditch Witch colleagues from Perry to participate, was moved by the experience.
“Looking down at the footprint touches me because someone died for us,” Van Ausdall said. “It is the least I can do to stand here for 13 minutes.”
Standing next to Van Ausdall, colleague Lelan Powers looked down at his boot and noticed that Maj. Faulkner’s boot print was smaller than his.
“His stature is bigger than me because of what he did for us,” Faulkner said.
By: David Bitton CNHI News Oklahoma