Who are the Smoke Brothers and what do they do? They are the heart of Operation Fallen Flags, they are all volunteers – and they do everything.
The Smoke Brothers teach school kids the history of the American flag. They drive The Glory Truck to the LZ Peace Memorial at Midway Village for veterans ceremonies. And they are the ones who maintain The Glory Truck – getting things fixed, performing all the maintenance, and doing all the washing and waxing. “Wax on. Wax off.”
These guys see what needs to be done, and they do it. Nothing ever gets done by itself – someone has to do it. All the hard work, the time spent, and everything else – the Smoke Brothers are the ones who do it. A true band of brothers who get a lot done and occasionally enjoy a cigar together.
How many Smoke Brothers are there? Somewhere around thirty, and like all true superheroes, they have cool names: Sierra 6, Charlie 6, Seabee, Sergeant Friendship, Mr. Marine, Airborne, LT, Johnny One Wing, Senior Chief, Sergeant Huey, Sergeant Walley, Boonie, Captain Mike, Air Force 1, Angel 6, Cuzin Helo, Marine 1, Sergeant Jerry, Diamond 6, Marine, Sergeant Santo, Eagle 6, Sergeant Tango, Ramrod, Sergeant Mike Mike, Master Chief, Sergeant Alpha, Sergeant Pic, Sky Captain, Skipper, Captain Ken, and Blackjack 6.
Most of them are military veterans. But a few are not. There might be a Smoke Brother living next door to you. You have probably walked past some of these real-life superheroes and didn’t even know it.
The Smoke Brothers are the real thing. The real deal. They are unsung heroes, keeping American flags flying high. They do what they do because it’s the right thing to do. And they have fun doing it.
A special thanks to Lonnie’s Stonecrafters, Scandroli Construction, Lou Bachrodt SuperStore, Ware Crane & Rigging, Rockford Register Star, TV stations WREX, WTVO, WIFR, and WQRF – and many others.