Before Fire For Effects, LLC was formed and flag making was still just a hobby of mine I was invited to attend a local Veterans event where COL Gregory D. Gadson was scheduled as the guest speaker. I quickly remembered hearing that name before and I couldn’t quite place where. After some research I found out why his name sounded so familiar. COL Gadson is a retired colonel in the United States Army and the former Garrison Commander of the U.S. Army Fort Belvoir. He is also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, occasional actor, and motivational speaker. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years as a field artillery officer and served on active duty for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Forge, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. COL Gadson made his acting debut in Battleship, a 2012 American science fiction naval war film, as Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales, playing a war veteran who regains his appetite for the fight when Oahu is threatened by an alien attack. Director Peter Berg, having seen news articles about Gadson, decided to cast him as an Army officer trying to recover from the loss of his legs.
As if that was not enough COL Gadson played football at West Point between 1985 and 1988, wearing the No. 98 jersey and serving as co-captain. In 2007, he was present when the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field at the invitation of West Point classmate Mike Sullivan, who was then on the coaching staff of the New York Giants. This win was the beginning of a 10-game road winning streak and came after Gadson had made an inspirational speech to the team. The streak culminated in the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII and in recognition for his contribution, COL Gadson received a specially minted Super Bowl ring. COL Gadson has since remained with the team as a motivational speaker.
After I read about COL Gadson and his accomplishments I was amazed by his resiliency and dedication to duty. It was right then and there I decided I wanted to present him with a token of my appreciation, so I built my first custom flag with personalized stripes and with his military background it was only fitting to put a set of cross cannons in the union. I was humbled when he thanked me and said “This will look great in my Man Cave”. A few weeks later I received a text message from COL Gadson’s wife and she said “Thank You SFC Tallman… Everyone that enters my home sees your amazing sign and work”. That text meant a lot to me and was instrumental in my pursuit to start Fire For Effects, LLC. I hope I can use these flags to put smiles on many more Heroes' faces for years to come.
THIS WAS THE FLAG THAT STARTED IT ALL!!!!
It was a privilege to have the Honorable Mr. Allen J. Lynch as the guest speaker for our Battalion Ball and we wanted to do something special for him. So we did our research and decided to build a flag with the 1st Cavalry Division Patch on it. The opportunity to spend the evening with a True American Hero and receiving his Medal of Honor coin was an evening we will never forget. Please take a moment to read the amazing story of the Honorable Mr. Allen J. Lynch.
Born on October 28, 1945, in Chicago, Lynch grew up in the Lake Eliza area of Porter County, Indiana, where he attended Union Center Elementary School and Wheeler Junior High School.
Lynch joined the Army from Chicago in 1964, and by December 15, 1967, was serving as a specialist four in Company D, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). During a firefight on that day, near My An (2), Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam, Lynch rescued three wounded soldiers and stayed behind to protect them when the rest of the company withdrew. He single-handedly defended the wounded men against enemy attack until locating a friendly force which could evacuate them. Lynch was subsequently promoted to sergeant and awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. The medal was formally presented to him by President Richard Nixon in 1970.
After the war, Lynch settled in Gurnee, Illinois, and worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he advocated increased benefits for disabled veterans. He later served as chief of the Illinois Attorney General's Veterans Rights Bureau until his retirement in 2005.
He has volunteered for the Vietnam Veterans of America organization, is the liaison for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and frequently gives speeches at military-related events, such as Memorial Day ceremonies.
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). place and date: Near My An (2), Binh Dinh province, Republic of Vietnam, 15 December 1967. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Born: 28 October 1945, Chicago, Ill.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Lynch (then Sp4c.) distinguished himself while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company D. While serving in the forward element on an operation near the village of My An, his unit became heavily engaged with a numerically superior enemy force. Quickly and accurately assessing the situation, Sgt. Lynch provided his commander with information which subsequently proved essential to the unit's successful actions. Observing 3 wounded comrades Lying exposed to enemy fire, Sgt. Lynch dashed across 50 meters of open ground through a withering hail of enemy fire to administer aid. Reconnoitering a nearby trench for a covered position to protect the wounded from intense hostile fire, he killed 2 enemy soldiers at point blank range. With the trench cleared, he unhesitatingly returned to the fire-swept area 3 times to carry the wounded men to safety. When his company was forced to withdraw by the superior firepower of the enemy, Sgt. Lynch remained to aid his comrades at the risk of his life rather than abandon them. Alone, he defended his isolated position for 2 hours against the advancing enemy. Using only his rifle and a grenade, he stopped them just short of his trench, killing 5. Again, disregarding his safety in the face of withering hostile fire, he crossed 70 meters of exposed terrain 5 times to carry his wounded comrades to a more secure area. Once he had assured their comfort and safety, Sgt. Lynch located the counterattacking friendly company to assist in directing the attack and evacuating the 3 casualties. His gallantry at the risk of his life is in the highest traditions of the military service, Sgt. Lynch has reflected great credit on himself, the 12th Cavalry, and the U.S. Army