CI Hero: Illinois man continues Larry ‘The Flag Man’ Eckhardt’s mission to honor veterans

CI Heroes

WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — A man is honoring service members while carrying on the mission of Larry ‘The Flag Man’ Eckhardt.

You may remember the Illinoisan who traveled the nation helping community posting American flags for fallen heroes. Eckhardt died from cancer in March, though his life’s mission still very much alive.

Jeff Hastings is carrying on his friend’s dying wish to keep honoring veterans and helping provide communities with the tools necessary to do so. Hastings was in Washington over the weekend, helping those in Washington pay their respects to Sergeant George Raymond “Bud” Reeser, of the United States Marine Corps who was killed in action on Nov. 22, 1943.

“When we can honor veterans and we can take care of families and just continue on the mission, the feeling you get right here in your heart…is all the pay and all the gratitude you ever need. We provide all the equiptment, tools, instructions, organizations, and networking to bring people together, unite people, a town…to stand behind something.”

jeff hastings

Hastings said it’s his duty to continue his friend’s mission who passed away from cancer in early 2020. “Honored,” said Hastings. “Honored. It just brings joy to my heart.”

Each American flag pushed into the earth by local volunteers but guided by the hands and heart of Jeff Hastings.

The mission is in the beginning stages to become a 501c3. Those looking to donate to the cause can contact Hastings at 618-409-0323 or mail a check to 118 W 6th St., O’Fallon, Illinois 62269. Make checks payable to The Flagman’s Mission Continues.

For the month of October, WMBD is highlighting area teachers as they continue to educate amid the pandemic.

Nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero.

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