Flags for Fort Snelling 2016

Our very first blog? I guess the saying is true… time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Flags-for-Fort-Snelling_Veterans-Cemetary-Memorial-Day-Logo2I just want to take a moment to write on a personal level about FFFS and the efforts that have been happening since last May. As I reflect on Flags for Fort Snelling, I can’t help but chuckle a bit. The mission behind FFFS is an honorable one, yet the story behind its growth does have a bit of humor.

My name is Rocky Borchardt. I am a single mother of one very amazing and driven young girl. I am co-owner of a website design and online marketing company, in addition to working full time as a Creative Director of another growing corporation. I am the soccer coach and lead team parent for my daughter’s extracurricular activities.

Joanne Malmstedt is an impressive single mother of three outstanding young kids. She proudly works as a 911-Dispatcher for the Minnesota State Patrol, while simultaneously attending school to become a State Patrol Officer herself. Joanne somehow still finds the time to support every sport and activity her kids are truly devoted to, including Fastpitch Softball and Tae Kwon Do.

So yes, at times we chuckle that you couldn’t find two less available people to be the driving force behind Flags for Fort Snelling.  Here we are, two women with an already incredibly limited amount of personal time, trying to revive the honored tradition of placing 200,000 American Flags at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery every Memorial Day; an effort that is no small undertaking.

Still, I have to hand it to Joanne, as it was her personal and parental values that led to the birth of FFFS. As Memorial Day of 2015 approached, she wanted to take the opportunity to show her children the meaning behind the holiday. She could have simply celebrated with a poolside BBQ, and just taken advantage of the day off with her family. Instead, she called the Fort Snelling National Cemetery to inquire about volunteering to help place flags, only to discover that the tradition had gone unsupported for quite some time.  Here again, she could have turned a blind eye.

Instead, she called her friends and family into action. Within less than 3 days, 3,000 flags were collected and about 20 volunteers came to help distribute them. The new mission was sprouting.FFFS_Flags-for-Fort-Snelling-National-Cemetery-American-Veterans_Memorial-Day-Fundraiser

Here we are, about 9 months later, and we’re still plugging away as best we can. We’ve had great support from our friends and family. Trust Vets has provided fundraising opportunities and continues to help spread our message. Although this mission deserves full-time effort, I can’t help but reflect at how appreciative I am to see the progress we are still making (in spite of the humorously unavailable people driving the effort!).

Our effort continues with our next fundraiser, as we were kindly invited back to Wander North Distillery by Brian Winter, on February 18th, 2016. Please CLICK HERE to check out the event!

We’ll be checking in more often, as we are hearing and experiencing amazing tales along this journey for Flags for Fort Snelling!


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