Our journey began sometime back in January 2016, when a group of coworkers decided to do something symbolic to pay homage to our Fallen.
With Memorial Day approaching, we tossed around the idea of doing a ruck march around the LSU Lakes and maybe even Downtown Baton Rouge. As the plan developed, we designed shirts we would wear during our ruck, decided on the route, and named the event HERO HUMP. Upon hearing our intentions, our boss pitched the idea of combining our event with an annual event of the local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana. Every year the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana (Chapter 1) create the Garden of Flags at the Louisiana State Capital Gardens in honor of every fallen Louisiana native since the Revolutionary War.
After some coordination with the Blue Star Mothers, the plan was to have each person carry a portion of the over 11,000 American flags from LSU Memorial Tower to the Louisiana State Capital. We planned our route in a way to make stops at the Baton Rouge National Cemetery and Memorial Plaza at the USS Kidd to pay homage to those buried and memorialized at each.
We soon realized we would need help carrying the flags. We decided to have each person invite a couple veteran friends to participate. They would pay a small fee, we would give them a shirt, and any money we made would be donated to supporting the Gold Star families in Louisiana. The invite only event was capped at 50 participants to reduce the burden of red-tape and permits potentially required. That was wishful thinking.
With entry fees and individual donations rolling in, we decided we would setup a non-profit to avoid any conflicts with receiving and giving donations, thus For Our Fallen, Inc. was born.
Our inaugural HERO HUMP was a success, we had a great turn out and drew a lot of attention to the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana's Garden of Flags and Ceremony event.