WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (September 22, 2022) – Over 600 families across Iowa received an unexpected gift on their doorstep this weekend. In coordination with Survivor Outreach Services, the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms sent all families of fallen service members in the Survivor Network a garden flag in honor of their lost family member.
“These soldiers bravely served our country and should be remembered and honored for their sacrifice,” said Madison Lafrenz, Program Manager of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. “We want their families to know we also remember the fallen and understand the sacrifice they made to protect our freedoms.”
Each garden flag carries an image of a battlefield cross capturing the symbol of the boots, rifle and protective helmet traditionally used as a symbol to honor soldiers who died in combat. The flag and packaging bear the words “remember and honor” and include yellow stitching and stars representing the Gold Star Lapel Button awarded to Gold Star families.
Gold Star Mother’s Day is traditionally observed on the last Sunday in September. The day is for honoring families of those who have received The Gold Star—the military award no one wants. The award commemorates the tragic death of a military member who has perished while in the line of duty and hopes to provide a level of comfort to the parents and families who are left behind.
“There is no greater sacrifice a family can make than losing their loved one in service to our country,” said Lafrenz. “We’re honored to support all Iowa families who have fallen service members to let them know their memory is still alive.”
This is the ninth year the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation’s Project: Food and Fellowship program has provided families of the fallen with a special gift. The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation sends Pork Care Package coupon booklets to all survivor families. Additionally, previous Gold Star remembrance gifts have included blankets and larger flags for families to display or use as a keepsake.
The Deb and Jeff Hansen’s Project: Food and Fellowship program aids Iowa-based family readiness coordinators, child and youth program coordinators and military community volunteers in creating and hosting social gatherings for active duty, reservists, veterans, survivor families and all military families.
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The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation is honoring all Iowa survivor families with a commemorative garden flag bearing with words “Remember and Honor.” Survivor Outreach Services joined employees of Iowa Select Farms in assembling packages for over 600 Iowa families.
About the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation
The Hansens, who founded Iowa Select Farms and New Modern Concepts in Iowa Falls, Iowa, established the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation in 2006 to relieve hunger, support military families and strengthen efforts to find a cure for childhood cancer while improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.
About Iowa Select Farms
Iowa Select Farms is the largest pork producer in Iowa and is committed to responsibly producing safe, nutritious, and high-quality pork for their customers and the food companies they serve. The company has 242,500 sows and annually produces 1.5B pounds of pork. With 800 swine farms across the state, Iowa Select Farms is one of the leading economic engines to Iowa’s rural communities through employing more than 1,200 people, contracting with more than 650 farmers and supporting hundreds of local businesses throughout the state.