Today’s the day. My last day.
It’s the day, 14 years ago, that change everything for everyone in America.
Today’s the day when I officially leave the Army.
You see, I joined the Army in 2007. I was just 4 months shy of my 30 birthday.
I didn’t join the Army because I didn’t have anywhere else to go.
I didn’t join because I couldn’t find a job.
I didn’t join because I had some sort of beef with people in another land.
I joined because I wanted to help those who joined.
I wanted to be some light in what can be a dark world of pain and nightmares.
I joined because I love the land I come from.
I joined because I’m a proud son-of-gun who likes discipline, order, and brotherhood.
I started Bootcamp on September 11, 2007.
I was active duty for 4 years.
An unbelievable 4 years.
A tough 4 years.
A lucky 4 years.
Today is my last day.
8 years ago I made the unpopular decision to enlist.
I chose it.
I chose to feel the burden of the Soldier even when my education should have dictated the respect given to officers.
I was willing to go to unspeakable lengths for the guy next to me.
4 years ago I made the difficult decision to leave active duty.
Today, it is finished.
Today I’m officially released from the long arm of the Army.
Today is a feeling.
Today is a freedom.
Today is regret.
Today is hope.
Restoration Hardware American Flag Hack
Many moons ago I wrote a little post about an awesome Restoration Hardware American Flag that I hacked. I promised you that I’d give a tutorial and well, what can I say? Better late then never.
So let’s finally talk about how I did this!
Restoration Hardware American Flag Hack Supplies:
1 – American Flag (I bought mine at a garage sale. It’s 3×5)
4 – 1×3
1 – package of straight pins
1 – sheet of rigid foam insulation
My idea was to create a frame that appeared to be floating off the wall. I needed a way to hang it that was sturdy but ultra light. I came up with a plan to use a sheet of rigid foam insulation. This stuff can be found at Home Depot. I believe it was a half inch thick. This foam insulation is the kind that goes on the outside of the house and has one side with aluminum foil. (I wish I could find the pictures that showed this step but it was a couple of years ago…sorry guys!)
Using this foam board would allow me to secure my flag to something that was ultralight for it’s size. My basic idea was to pin my flag to this foam. I didn’t want to glue it so this seemed to be the best option. I also realized that the smooth surface wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted my flag to feel like it could move. I wanted wrinkles and some movement. The solution? Wrap the entire rigid foam board with a layer of felt or another type of material that the flag could cling to. Fortunately, I had several yards of felt like material. I used fabric glue to secure the fabric to the board.
Once the fabric glue was dry, I went ahead and stretched my flag over the board. I put in several straight pins around the perimeter of the flag. And by several I mean a ton. I stretched and wrinkled my flag as I went to give it a feeling of movement.
Big Daddy measured the length and width of the foam board after the felt and flag were applied before cutting the 1 x 3 to size. Don’t cut your wood before you wrap the foam board or you’ll make the wood frame too small.
After the 1 x 3s were cut to size, I used a dark walnut stain and satin poly on the frame.
We butt jointed the 1 x 3s using Gorilla Glue and these great corner clamps.
Once the glue on the frame was dry, I took the flag covered felt covered rigid board and flipped it over. With the flag facing the table I gently pushed the foam board down, allowing the wood frame to hold it snuggly. If you measured your frame correctly you’ll be able to lift the frame off the table (or any flat surface) and the flag won’t fall out.
Can you see how the flag is pushed to the front? Hope that makes sense!