News Channel 3 – “3 Plus You” Interview

Watch our news interview on News Channel 3 with Julie Edwards! Lebron Clark from MTN View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and I talk about how important the mission is to us and the community!

Watch our interview here: 3 Plus You Interview

Check out this interview at the dealership with Lebron Clark.

Fallen 5 Drive 3 Plus You Lebron Clark Julie Edwards

Thank you for your support Julie Edwards and Lebron Clark. You make it possible to continue the mission year after year. This year me made a big difference in Chattanooga.

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 10 September 15th, Sunday

Day 10 September 15th, Sunday

I was able to spend the last night in the city, but in a very nice Hampton room with a comfy bed that was gifted to us. It was amazing! The boys were able to swim and play in the pool 3 times and were tired. After bringing them home I decided to make the final food and water run for the 10 day mission.

It was a hot day and I found that it was best to deliver supplies after about 7:00 pm, but before dark. This is a prime time when it is not too hot and is not dark yet. Many people are in migration. I found spots in the city to deliver all kinds of supplies in an efficient and effective manner. I feel we did a lot of good for these people in some of the hottest weather we get.

Upcoming needs will be blankets, jackets, backpacks, and socks. Despite your views or opinions, or even mine, people will struggle with sleeping in a house or even a dry place this winter despite all we do. Some people will sleep outside, but we can make sure they at least survive it. Donate blankets for a more impactful next step in the mission to help people be comfortable.

In planning future acts, I would love to do something for the homeless one weekend a month and next year plan for 2 weeks of service. So for next month I would like to pass out blankets and clothing items. I have hygiene bags to pass out and water is always needed. Be prepared to see the Blazer of Glory in the streets of Chattanooga doing good for other people.

 

I think the Fallen 5 would be proud of the 2019 mission. The final act of the Fallen 5 Drive is to dip our tires into the river as a way to end the mission until next year. It is always a relief to complete a tough assignment. We were successful in achieving change for many people in Chattanooga because of your support! Thank you for the support!

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 9 September 14th, Saturday

Day 9 September 14th, Saturday

This was day 2 without water in Chattanooga which seemed ironic since we were passing out waters all week before, now everyone needed it. I noticed places the previous night that had plenty of water, but it would or could reach a critical level of need. I decided to purchase an additional 120 Little Debbie snacks and 4 more cases of water to pass out.

This day I was bringing 2 of my boys, Owen and Everett who are 7 and 5 to help. The first time they went with Daddy they made peanut butter and jelly and passed out waters. When your children assist you must always be considerate of their needs, and I knew they could be very helpful when I was in town. They got to see what helping people is all about and I hope to teach them to be responsible in their communities for others in need.

It didn’t take long to efficiently disperse what we had. The cooler only holds so much water and ice so when I refill it for a second time that batch is not as cold. I always feel that I could do better. We would need a much larger cooler or just have the city put in water fountains.

My aim is to make common sense application to implement particularly useful and impactful tools for improved daily life. We can simply install water fountains, public restrooms, and public showers on many different levels. Either temporary or permanent, on a case by case or first come basis. There are a multitude of simple, quick, and relatively inexpensive solutions that are proven.

Little Debbie Tent Riverbend 2017

Until these things are started, the best option is some way is to hand out water in plastic bottles and bagged food from a truck.

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 8 September 13th, Friday

Day 8 September 13th, Friday

At this point in the Fallen 5 Drive I spent every night out in the streets either in the truck, on the ground, or in a friend’s car with more leg room. I didn’t anticipate having so many supplies for myself and feeding or watering about 50 people per day. It was quite a challenge to have all that packed in there and lay comfortably. Also, working out during the trip didn’t help with my comfort levels! In other words, I was growing tired. The weather was great except for one day when it rained for about an hour and I had to use the tarp roof.

This day was Friday the 13th and it was a full harvest moon as well! This was going to be a special day and evening. Each Friday any city livens up from people getting off after a long weekend. Tourists also flourish the city seeking all Chattanooga has to offer.

This day was special because Chattanooga was out of water! Late Thursday evening the 3 foot water main burst causing the water for the entire city to be out! This day we were out in the heat passing out waters and burritos. We felt rich as we gave water when there were so many without. I intended on giving freely before the water outage, but to know the people that needed it most were getting it was particularly special. We were happy to help anyone in need!

Later that evening my boys were planned to be with me downtown, but with the water outage we decided to stay outside of the city. As a parent it is always important to put them first so we camped out in the camper.

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 7 September 12th, Thursday

Day 7 September 12th, Thursday

Waking up on the 12th meant taking down the flag from the main sign. I wanted people to see the flag flying and know the 9/11 victims and Fallen 5 were not forgotten. Once up I went to remove the flag by driving there in the Blazer of Glory, but the shifter broke when I went to back up. Once realizing what just happened I decided to walk to the main sign. Since we slept in the park it was not too far of a walk. I actually enjoyed the walk early in the morning to retrieve the flag. In the dawn’s early light, the flag was still there!

We took a couple pictures of the flag hanging and then folded it up for next year. I taught Olivia how to fold a flag. Each time the flag was folded this year someone learned how and I got practice too! Flag raising and folding is important process and holds respectful meaning in each fold. To fold a flag one must take great care with each fold because you must reach the end with enough excess and have formed a perfect triangle.

After folding the flag, the humbling walk back in front of the building where the men lost their lives gave me time to think about their last moments. I am still here with a mission and they left while on their mission. Picking up the flag and carrying it on is all of our duties and we each do it differently.

Getting back to the truck I figured out what we could do to get a cable made as soon as possible. The part that broke was critical. I called Hudlow Axle and they recommended Hydraulic Supply Co. in Chattanooga and they were able to make a custom cable before the end of the day. We decided to go shopping and get more supplies for making burritos again. The people requested them as they are filling and easily eaten.

After getting the cable and food I set to work fixing the truck and adapting the plans for the day. I forgot some small bags and needed ice for the cooler. Once back at the truck I set up a cooking station for 96 eggs and 50 burritos with cheese! My little fold up table and Coleman grille were ready to cook 6 eggs at a time and package up the food as quickly as possible. After 2 to 3 hours of cooking I was exhausted and it was dark. I got to work before looking at the clock, but it took much longer than I anticipated. The pups and I were ready for bed!

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 6 September 11th, Wednesday

Day 6 September 11th, Wednesday

Instead of driving across a bridge for 2019, I was sleeping under one. This time in Chattanooga, TN. The Fallen 5 Drive for 2019 had a different mission, making a difference for people in Chattanooga. I put myself in the shoes of people who are homeless, by living in the truck for most of the 10 days during the 2019 mission. In this way I could see what it is like to survive on the streets.

 

I was lucky compared to most since I had a vehicle to transport me and sleep in. On 9/11 we woke up with a flat rear tire, a slight delay, but we got rolling nonetheless even filling the tire on the side of the freeway to meet Lebron Clark in Ringgold, GA. Somedays even when things are perfect, you will get a flat tire.

Lebron Clark from MTN View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA donated $1,000.00 to the mission of helping local people who are homeless. We will certainly use the funds to help cover the costs of the mission and could not do it without his support every year of the Fallen 5 Drive! Thank you Lebron!

In previous years I spent most of my time traveling in the truck at 70 to 80 miles per hour, stopping only for carefully planned fuel stops, bathroom breaks, food, and sleep. In 2016, the first year of the Fallen 5 Drive mission, we stayed at hotels except for a few nights under the stars – which were my favorite. Each year thereafter on the Fallen 5 Drive, more nights were spent in the truck because it embodied the connection to our natural environments and energy of the drive since it had to be made in 5 days as well!

Last year my dog and I made the trip together and I made it an order to sleep in the truck every night on the way out. I succeeded in sleeping in it even at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on the fifth night! I wanted the ruggedness of the trip to represent a deployment or hardship similar to what forward operating marines or others experience on the battlefield.

September 11th and July 16th are the same dates to me. I pay my respects to each and this year was no different. September 11th sparked my passion for patriotism to protect my community and serve my country. I served for over 4 years overseas during war. I made Chattanooga my home. The terrorist who attacked us caused us to mourn, but actually made us stronger, noogastrong. My mission is to show our solidarity and remind others of the sacrifices the Fallen 5 made for us. I honor that and these men the best way I can.

I flew another flag on the sign of the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center of Amnicoal Hwy on September 11th, 2019. Our American Flag represents the hardships we have overcome together and our unity as Americans. What it means to me is that we work together like the stitches and striping, the stars and the bars. The flag represents our history, both good and bad. We must allow ourselves to react to one another with love and respect at all times, despite intense personal feelings without thought. Democracy is meant to be a logical process of deciding on issues to unite us, not divide us, based on majority voting.

We have shown as Americans and Chattanoogans, that we can be united especially after a tragedy. However, we should not only be united after tragedies, rather all year and over years and this is what I am attempting to demonstrate. To help those with the least is the best I can do.

Additionally, those that demonstrate the core values of what it means to be an American can often be found in public service such as in the military, judicial circuits, and police and fire fighting people. More important than government services is the neighborly or good samaritan acts we can share with one another when we are in need. Learning skills such as CPR or simple wound care can save people’s lives in emergency situations. As a country we should have millions more who are certified. There is a lot we can all be doing to help one another in need.

On this day I chose to feed service people such as cops and firefighters. I chose Krispy Kreme doughnuts of course to hand out to different departments. I first visited the Chattanooga Police Department on Amnicola Hwy since they saved everyone’s lives that day on July 16th, 2015. They were very thankful for the 24 doughnuts that were dropped off! I then visited UTC’s Police Department since they are always vigilant in protecting the future leaders of the community, as they become leaders themselves. My final stop was at the fire department off Main Street across from Slick’s Burgers. They were all gracious.

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 5 September 10th, Tuesday

Day 5 September 10th, Tuesday

I awoke to another beautiful day in Chattanooga. The forecast looked good for many of the days I was to be on the mission. After driving the truck, I noticed a vibration in my driveshaft which meant I had to replace the u-joints as soon as possible. The added weight and constant accelerations are hard on the drivetrain. I made a plan to accomplish the repair early in the morning after getting started for the day.

I had some burritos on ice left over from yesterday. I am finding that going to pass out food and water was better done after the food kitchen was closed. People who are homeless have limited access to resources after hours which includes water, food, and bathrooms/showers. It is personally frustrating to me that a city so great as Chattanooga is, has only a partial solution to a human living issue. A lot of people are confused as to the best solution. Many people have many different needs. Part of the problem begins by looking at the homeless population – as individual humans who have unique needs. I am simply trying to cover the basics of food and water to provide comfort. However, simple solutions can easily provide a humane living condition for many.

After getting the truck repaired, I headed to the library again to finish up some decals for the truck. To make the mission a success I seek sponsors to help cover some of the costs of the mission. In previous years we used most of the money for fuel, food, and lodging to get the American Flag on the Golden Gate Bridge. This year we used fuel money for food money, and put it in people’s mouths.

I want to thank our personal sponsors and our company sponsors: Olivia Rekoske, Jason Padilla, Zack Chastain, Willie Wilson, David Lightfoot, John Lippincott, and Jason Robinson. Our company sponsors include MTN View Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, and Hudlow Axle. You all made it possible in 2019 to feed and care for those that need it most. We will continue to help people throughout the year as we are able, thank you!

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 4 September 9th, Monday

This morning’s sunrise was especially beautiful! The morning changed from dark, to a light orange and pink sky which shone brighter as the day awoke. The buzz and roar of life began and another day started for the Fallen 5 Drive.

I was quite sore by this time since I was not prepared to run and sleep in hard places. Doing a new physical fitness program combined with sleeping on the ground and vehicles was a new level of soreness for me. Despite the soreness, stretching and a little ibuprofen went a long way.

After a few days of being in the streets, we realized there were more needs beyond food and water. We began planning a list of hygiene items we could purchase and put together and pass out for people. In addition to giving food we wanted to provide a level of care in which people could feel more comfortable.

For food we planned on cooking eggs scrambled with cheese and wrapping into a burrito. We got 60 eggs, 40 tortillas, and a couple pounds of cheese. We picked up another 4 cases of water to pass out as it was going to be hot for the next few days. It was quite a bit of work as we cooked, wrapped, and packaged the food. As we drove around passing out water and food, we asked what more needs were and so we planned to make a trip to the store for toothpaste, toothbrushes, wipes, band aides, alcohol pads, and other items.

By now I began to recognize certain people and they knew us as well. Often as I drove around town, my new friends would wave or say hi!  It felt good to be doing good for others. The opportunity to do good for others is possible if we simply choose to do something. This simple mission has created so much joy and value. It was a great day to honor the Fallen 5!

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 3 September 8th, Sunday

Day 3 began with a beautiful sunrise in the morning overlooking the City of Chattanooga. It was peaceful and calm. With the sunrise we could hear the traffic and energy of the city come to life. Each day on this mission I awoke wondering how much good I could do for others in need. My mental balance was between serving those who were living, those who sacrificed their lives for others, and serving my own needs.

The major plans for the day including cooking hot dogs and passing them out with water. This means we would set up the grille and cook and package them up in zip lock bags. Each morning I made French pressed coffee, as I do every morning, and began planning the day. Each day at this point was going to be planned as the day went. I was learning a lot about what the real needs on the streets were.

Food is a big part of what we were doing. Additionally, seeking resources such as blankets, hygiene items, and coats was an important next step. I learned new information from those we served and we asked what their needs were. Some spoke of anticipating housing soon while others wanted simple items such as hand sanitizer.

My personal goal is to raise awareness for the status of homelessness in Chattanooga and care for these people on a personal level. Being a small team of dedicated people and dogs, we were able to impact people on an individual basis which was a special experience. Part of driving around was finding new places that were overlooked by others. Generally, there were people close to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen which is open daily for food and other resources.

To spread the word on our mission we headed to the Sunday Market at the First Tennessee Pavilion which was also a car show. We walked around with the dogs for a bit and shortly after left to help more people in needs. Later that night we visited Craven’s House again overlooking the city.

 

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 2 September 7th, Saturday

Day 2 September 7th, Saturday

Mack, Miley, and I awoke early in the morning in the truck and I was very tired from the day before. For 2019 I wanted to put myself in homeless people’s shoes by living in the truck for the duration of the mission. Preparing for the mission was stressful and difficult to cram everything into the truck. Making room to sleep was quite a challenge, but we managed to make some comfort. I had not anticipated the discomfort from working out since it had been so long. A good night’s sleep is nothing to take for granted.

After stretching and waking up I went on another run with the dogs. Taking a grown dog is tough, but two with one being a puppy is quite a challenge. After we started the dogs got the hang of it somewhat. As we ran across Walnut Street Bridge the puppy was dragging behind; I thought she was tired. To my surprise she had to potty and so there I was picking up turds with my bare hands and running them to the trash! Next time I will bring a bag or at least try and make them go potty before we run! I made two laps for the Fallen 5 and loved crossing Veteran’s Bridge and seeing their plaques on 5 poles. It inspired me to push harder, to know I should be doing more for myself, to honor the Fallen 5.

After getting back to truck I realized I was completely covered in sweat and my Noogastrong shirt was soaked. I realized that I didn’t have a shower either and I would just have to cool down. I made some French pressed coffee and ate a little food. Our next mission was to hand out water and the PBJ sandwiches. We searched the town over and looked for people. We were successful in giving away all of the food and most of the waters. The goal is to hand out 2 waters and 1 food item to each person.

Another mission is to make the truck look as good a possible to represent the Fallen 5 properly. The decals and paint from prior years is show it’s age. After my accident I was not able to care for the truck and it sat outside for the winter and the sun got the decals to peel. I headed to the library to reprint the decals and put them on for each man. I want people to know what the truck is about when they see it, so I can point to their names and speak about their sacrifices.

 

 

 

 

 

For the 2nd round of feeding I decided that hot dogs would be a good thing to make. I bought 48 hotdogs, buns, beans, ketchup, mustard, and other supplies for feeding. I also bought more water and filled a new cooler to keep the food safe and cool out in the hot weather.

For the evening we decided to park somewhere more quiet and secure. Sleeping in a truck with no top and exposed is a unique experience. You hear everything and feel the city, it never sleeps. We visited Craven’s House and were blessed with an amazing sunrise.

Joshua David Kapellusch

Day 1, September 6th, Friday

September 6th, 2019. Day 1.

The 2019 Fallen 5 Drive began with an early morning 6:30 AM run across Walnut Street Bridge and across Veteran’s Bridge. The two dogs and I stretched out, then I did some pushups and leg lifts. My goal is to honor the men with as many laps as I can run, and think about what they sacrificed while doing so. PT is a big part of daily life in the military and I know getting myself into shape will be a good thing for me as well. I want to take these 10 days to improve my community and myself.

My goal this year for the Fallen 5 Drive is to honor these men by doing good things for the community through my actions. Feeding and helping the poorest in our community is important because it is how we Americans should be taking care of one another. Serving your country can begin by helping people right in your own back yard.

Once I reorganized the truck after getting supplies, I headed to the Chattanooga National Cemetery to visit the graves of the SSGT David Wyatt and PO Randall Smith. It was a very peaceful day to observe the tempo of the city. The cemetery is very calm and it was an honor to spend time resting with some of our national heroes.

Once I finished at the cemetery I drove to the mural near the cemetery. After taking a picture of the truck next the mural I headed to the river park to let the dogs swim and check on the memorial in the river park. As far as I could see there was no progress on the site unless I was missing something. One of my goals is to check in on Fallen 5 memorial sites to ensure progress is being made and that they are kept up.

I begin the Fallen 5 Drive the same way every year. I visit the initial shooting site and eat a meal with the Fallen 5 at the Lee Hwy memorial. This year I folded up a flag with 2 volunteers for the Navy. It was special teaching these young men about the heritage they are about to embrace. Once I arrived at the Riverpark, I dipped the tires back in the Tennessee River and put water on the flag.

Now that the drive began, my next mission was to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pass out waters. I made about 40 sandwiches and handed out about 60 water bottles. I simply drive around and see who needs food or water. Since I have been helping some people who are homeless, I have a good idea of where to start and where I can make a large impact. One of the highest concentration of people with needs is outside of the Community Kitchen. We often deliver most of the supplies here after driving around for a few hours. After a long day the dogs and I slept in the truck off Lookout Street.

Joshua David Kapellusch

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Update

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Update

After long consideration of the impact and goals of the Fallen 5 Drive, I have made the decision to “deploy to Chattanooga” for 2 weeks beginning September 6th, and ending on the 15th of September. I will live in the truck for these 2 weeks, helping people who are homeless by feeding, watering, and securing resources for these people in honor of these men.

My ultimate goal is to find at least 1 homeless veteran and get them housed. I will also feed and water at least 50 people per day in their honor. I will do ground work on finding what the status of the memorial at the park is and see why it is delayed. I will honor these men, their lives, their families, and the community they left behind. We have a lot of work to do here in Chattanooga, and I feel I can impact more people this way rather than driving across the country for 2 weeks.

Traditionally the Fallen 5 Drive was about taking the folded Amnicola American Flag across the United States and flying it from the Golden Gate bridge to honor these 5 brave heroes. After committing myself for 3 successful years, 15,000 miles, and thousands of dollars from myself and sponsors, I have seriously considered the impact of my actions. I feel that helping living, breathing citizens of the United States of America in Chattanooga, it would better honor their sacrifice by working in my community.

I went to the Golden Gate Bridge because during Vietnam people threw garbage on returning veterans. And more recently, the San Francisco 49er decided to not stand for the flag, and this is garbage as well. Before the washed up quarterback decided to not stand for that beautiful flag, I/we had already completed 2 successful missions of flying it from the bridge – we took it straight to the middle of the bridge to say – NO, WE HONOR OUR FLAG, OUR COUNRTY, AND THOSE WHO HAVE SACRIFICED TO KEEP IT FLYING.

This year I feel that I can impact more people than the few I meet on the highway. Last year I helped 8 homeless people, and this year I will help at least 600 right here in Chattanooga. With the rising costs of housing locally, there are more than 700 homeless people who need assistance right now, every day. I will find out what their needs are and keep you all updated. I will give rides, facilitate feeding people from sponsor donations and out of pocket donations, and generally be of assistance to anyone in need, especially veterans. I will have a daily schedule posted in the next few days. My goal is to demonstrate how we as Americans, can work together and care for one another.

To help, start by spreading the message of the mission. Share, like, and donate if you feel compelled to help your fellow humans in need. Over the next few days, I will be raising awareness and generating support. Starting now until the 15th I will accept donations of money, food, water, clothing, backpacks, socks, and general items for living. We can all do a little, and a little goes a long way. Remember, that without community we have no country – and to have strength we must remain United in these States of America, under God.

Thank you. For more questions or resources please call or text Joshua at 423.414.8233. Email fallen5drive@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Joshua David Kapellusch

Founder/Driver of the Fallen 5 Drive

Warrior

Warrior

What is a warrior?

Warrior as defined by Dictionary.com.

Warrior: 1. a person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. 2. a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics.

Some of us are born warriors – seeing the need to fight for others, to improve their lives no matter the cost. When a warrior places value on their life, they calculate the possibility of their maxim effect of their efforts and the potential cost. The cost of living on without fighting for one’s innate and inalienable right to pursue happiness, or other’s rights to happiness – is higher than the cost of losing one’s life in the battles that will ensue for a greater good.

Warriors fight battles in the war with a purposeful end in sight. The glory of battle is not lost on the battlefield. The glory of heroism is never forgotten – a legacy of life given for others, a true sacrifice is made and the legend of the warrior never dies. Those who survive the war, have a duty to honor those fellow warriors now without their physical voice. We warriors must embolden ourselves for we now represent those that can no longer wave the flag or speak their peace. We must never let our brethren die inside us for it is the pilot light for our own warrior spirit that keeps us alive. We living warriors must live our lives, not focused on the dead, but to rather live our lives with purpose for the warriors who are resting.

A warrior’s spirit never dies, only resides like a waning tide. We pull away to reset ourselves on giving life, rather than taking it. We build in place of destruction. We rebuild ourselves.

The warrior’s spirit is driven by love. Seemingly contradictory – one must take a life in order to provide a better life for others. One must protect their good, their way of life – one must always fight for what they believe is right. Following God’s word, a warrior on a warpath can embark on a mission that is just if the purpose of the fight is rooted in the word of God, and in line with love. A warrior need not always kill another human, but they must relentlessly attack and defend against evil that causes harm to the warrior’s tribe and purpose. A warrior must defend against and kill the evil spirit within another human, for it is not life-giving.

My warrior spirit lives on inside me and I will always fight for good – for God – and for love. A warrior wars for peace and protection; a warrior sacrifices their life so that other’s may have a better life. A warrior is born, but never dies. A warrior yearns to sacrifice everything. A living warrior is jealous of those who had the opportunity to die, they must live on in their honor with a renewed purpose of giving and protecting life, rather than taking and harming life. Life is precious and delicate; it is not guaranteed. It must be fought for, even in peaceful times and places. Honor a warrior by living a positive life – be life giving. Honor the sacrifices they made for you, for you will never know the gift of giving the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield.

A warrior is always watchful for the next battle. They seek the weak, not to exploit, but to protect and provide. A warrior’s spirit never dies and we are always vigilant to needs of the weak. Our abundant strengths, courage, and intuition guide us. Each battle is new and unique, we warriors battle on so others may have a voice to speak. Death and evil chase life and happiness with a vengeance – for evil is never satisfied, until death presides. But death does not know that without life and love, death and evil have no purpose. A warrior is capable of love and mercy, whereas evil and death do not know love. A warrior is able to deliver justice in an envelope of hate, packaged and delivered intentionally to the source. A curious devil will open this pre-addressed letter unknowingly motivated by a unruled conquest of curiosity at the cost of demise. A warrior leaves it up to their adversary to open the envelope, but gives no mercy once opened. A warrior will include their return address as an open invitation for the opponent to attack or seek mercy. A warrior is capable of mercy and forgiveness as they fight from a source of love, derived from God.

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” A warrior loves their enemy, and they win the battle before it ever begins. Life is meant to sustain and grow. Life is movement, and death is stillness. A warrior’s life is a living one – and their spirit never dies.

Do good, and never give up. We are all warriors in our words and actions. No warrior is perfect, nor is every battle won. Victory comes to warriors when they give everything and by the grace of God, we shall open our eyes one more day – to fight on for good, for light, and for love. Be a warrior and fight on. You are never alone and you have a purpose if you are still living. Be slow to anger and listen with your heart. Trust your intuition and if you doubt, pray.

Joshua David Kapellusch

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Events

2019 has been quite the year so far! The Fallen 5 Drive is still alive and rolling thank God! I have attended 2 events for the Fallen 5 – the Coker Tire Cruise In at Jordan Park and the Military Kids Serve Too at the Creative Discovery Museum.

At each event I allow kids to get in an start it up. Often they are seen revving the truck to 6,200 RPM with huge grins on their faces! The sound of clean freedom rings out to inspire these little spirits and to honor the Fallen 5! These acts are my medicine that help me in life. I live to serve others, especially those in our communities who deserve it.

As you may know, since getting rear ended in the Blazer of Glory in September of 2018 – my life has changed. I survived a 45 MPG impact and so did the truck. Neither the truck nor I was able to recover as quickly as I had hoped. However, I designed the truck to take such an impact so I and others would survive if there was such an accident.

There are still damages on the truck that need to be fixed although it still drives. It has limped along so far to the short events locally. I will need help fixing it as I have limited resources so reach out with support such a access to a garage and an area to store the truck.

I will keep everyone updated as we progress!

Thank you,

Joshua David Kapellusch

2019 Fallen 5 Drive Sponsorship Opportunity – Now Open!

Click here for a PDF of the letter: Sponsorship Letter, 2019

 

Dear Supporter,

I am on a mission to never forget the Fallen 5 – the 4 Marines and 1 Sailor who were killed in the terrorist attack on July 16th, 2015 in Chattanooga, TN. I have dedicated an annual 5,000-mile drive from Chattanooga, TN to San Francisco, CA in their honor, by carrying a special folded American flag from the shooting site and then flying it from the Golden Gate Bridge. I named it the “Fallen 5 Drive”.  I am turning a tragedy into a triumph with your help, to heal our community and spread the message of unity and love across our country – values we all Americans share.

To make the trip a success I need sponsorship and donations to cover the costs for the mission. Each year I receive support from the community in and around Chattanooga to help involve others and provide a healing mission. I demonstrate how we Americans can work together in times of need and how we never forget about the people who sacrifice everything to protect others.

By sponsoring the trip your organization will benefit from the positive associations of helping out a great cause. To never forget is our mantra… never forget about the Fallen 5, the police and fire departments, the service members who never made it home, and for those still serving. Americans always answer the call to serve, we always have. I am asking for your help in carrying the message of never forgetting the Fallen 5 heroes for 5,000 plus miles and for the rest of the year.

Sponsoring the trip will generate a huge amount of positive publicity and community goodwill on your behalf, due to the fact that the mission is vitally important to our community and country. The truck looks so different and cool and receives a ton of attention – and it is also the World’s First 5 Fueled Automobile! It is a vehicle for a larger message of how Americans work together for an improved future and inspire one another. Sponsorship can come in many ways such as financial contributions, parts, or volunteering. You will be listed on www.fallen5drive.org, our Facebook page, and other social media accounts to show your support. Naming you or your organization is possible at every news interview on TV and radio, in press releases, in local and national newspapers, and other coverages.

By sponsoring the 2019 mission you will have the opportunity to support a once-in-a-lifetime memorial, a completely original truck, and be affiliated with setting at least 1 World Record or more! The mission will take place in August or September for the 4th consecutive year. Sponsorships are filling fast so a quick response will ensure you get the best exposure for your organization. If you cannot sponsor the mission please share the mission with others, visit the website, like and share the Facebook page, and follow the mission as we embark on the journey.

Contact Joshua Kapellusch – the founder of the Fallen 5 Drive and builder of the truck for more information. Visit www.fallen5drive.org for updates and to read more about the mission.

Thank you and sincerely,

Joshua D. Kapellusch

423.414.8233

fallen5drive@gmail.com

 

 

Fallen 5 Drive Update, 2019

I am getting the truck rolling again for the Fallen 5 Drive mission for 2019!

After recovering from being rear-ended by a car in the blazer, I have a new purpose and mission. Watch the video for more updates! Stay tuned as we ramp up for 2019’s Fallen 5 Drive! Thank you for your support! Like and share this page and video to support the Fallen 5 Drive!

The Return Home

The only thing left to do for the annual ceremony after folding up the flag is to put ocean water on the flag and tires to connect the two bodies of water. When we leave the shooting site I dip my tires into the Tennessee River and put river water on the flag. When I arrive on the coast the bodies of water are connected. The final connection for the completion of the mission is to dip my tires back into the Tennessee River and put final drops of water on the flag until next year.

Once off the bridge I feel an extreme weight lifted off my shoulders. The first 5 days and the 6th day are all about getting to the bridge in time without breaking down. Even months before leaving I must begin preparing for the mission. Last year I had to leave late due to a lack of funds to leave on the 16th of July – the annual date of the attack. We chose instead to be on the bridge on September 11th and it was very special. This year I raised more funds before leaving and also worked hard to save money up. I also plan my whole summer around making this trip. I have never worked harder in my life, prior to leaving for the 2018 trip, to prepare the truck and my schedules.

That last little drive over the bridge is so exhilarating! Mission complete…until I get home! I am relieved of duty at this point! I made plans to meet my best friend from when I was in the Air Force who lives in San Francisco. He and his friend went surfing as Mack and I sat on the beach relaxing watching the waves crash and flow. Throughout the trip it was my goal to have deep self-reflection and really address some things in my life that needed to be dealt with. I struggle with depression and am technically a serviced disabled veteran, although I struggle with shame admitting this.

This trip gives me hope for each coming year to do something that gives me purpose, which is unique, and can be used for good for others. I fight my depression not with pills, but with positive actions. I try hard to do good things for good people and teach others what I have learned. I make a personal goal to do a good deed for someone or something each day. This is my medicine; kindness. I honestly wonder sometimes if I actually suffer from depression, or is it the world that is depressing? By doing good things I can serve both philosophies, positively. However, I forget to focus on myself and address my own problems at times. This year’s trip allowed me to reach new levels of understanding, vulnerability, patience, and knowledge as I persisted to challenging my insecurities.

In the military you harden your heart. You learn to not feel or express emotion –basic human functions – to better do your job. After years of challenging experiences, a hardened heart and mind, and some trauma you are different forever. The hardest thing to ever do is soften a hardened heart or try to connect to people who have never served in the military. The bonds veterans share across all branches in the Department of Defense, is one of the strongest ever created. Even over generations a single look and head nod is all that’s needed to convey a thought of understanding. Sometimes a tear or two will fall from an expressionless face. We veterans all know without words, the meaning behind every tear we shed for the sacrifices we all made to make this country a better place for all of us. We all gave some, some gave all.

As I watched those waves coming over and over I realized the waves are like problems in life – they keep coming each a little different, but they never stop. We have the choice to keep swimming or to stop fighting and drown. With each powerful wave is a lull. In these lulls we recover and regain our strength for the next one. My hope is to inspire others to achieve their dreams as I have no matter what they are or how crazy they may seem. The Blazer of Glory is a vehicle of innovation and inspiration.

After getting even colder sitting on the beach we were finally ready to eat. I had not eaten all day! I invited my friend Casey to perform the water ceremony on the flag as it would have a lot of meaning for both of us. It was a special ceremony for me to do with one of my best friends. After eating and saying our goodbyes I set out to see my Mother and Step-father who haul produce from California. In about 3 hours I then saw my Mother way out in some field full of fog at midnight! This was pretty special. After saying hello and giving some coffee away I said goodbye as they drove off. I was exhausted and ready for bed. There was no way I was going to drive anymore in that fog! Mack and I slept until later in the morning. This was the first time I felt fully rested in 7 days!

The next part of the journey was to realize a dream of mine for years…cruise the California coast in my convertible, American truck using clean American fuels. I was headed south to LA and The Enthusiast Network TEN, the headquarters for Hot Rod Magazine, Roadkill, and many more. My goal was to get noticed and publicized to further reach more people and inspire kids into responsible, high-tech hot rodding. The Blazer of Glory is loved by everyone.

Mack and I arrived late into the night. Driving into LA at 3:00 am to the hot rod mecca of the world was a thrill. I may or may not have shredded the flag on the solar panel due to some excessive speeds. 2 days earlier I noticed the flag starting to come apart and my little blasts didn’t help. Once in the parking lot I decided to make friends with the security guard who was awesome, and then I drove around for a bit checking out some Roadkill cars and finding a place to park and sleep. It was my intention to sleep in the parking lot, wake up and stay until someone noticed us. That’s exactly what we did!

After completing that mission, I was free to drive further south to visit my best friend from high school. He and his wife live the good life on the coast so I had no problem spending 2 days there. On my way back home to Chattanooga on the southern route via Interstate 40 east, I visit my Great Grandfather who is a WWII veteran of the Navy and who sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge many times during the war. I spent another 2 days in Las Vegas with him, went gambling for the first time with $5.00, and created memories that will last a lifetime. Driving into Vegas I hit a sand storm then intense rain which all blew straight into my face.

I look forward to getting home as quick as I can. I use mostly natural gas along the southern route home because it is the cheapest and is always available. I filled the propane tank in Vegas and never filled it again. I stopped in Winslow, Arizona and in Oklahoma City. I stopped in to see the Farmtruck and Farmbird. I was hoping to meet the guys from the show, but they were not there. Mack and I then set out for home with no other planned stops other than for food, fuel, or rest.

We had a pretty major breakdown. My driveshaft blew out on the freeway at about 65 mph which was my biggest fear with that truck. I put the truck in 4wd, backed up to pick up my driveshaft, and got off on the next exit. Normally I would just keep driving in front wheel drive, but for some reason this year all my 46-year-old spinning parts wanted to come apart. I found a small repair shop and they graciously offered floor space, spare parts, gave me $20.00, and bought my supper! I could not believe the kindness of Adam & Brooke Dishman in Warner, Oklahoma. If you need any kind of repair visit their shop Waysen Tire & Lube at 15 Williamson Circle, Warner, OK 74469. 919.913.4304. I “band aided” the driveshaft together and even welded the u-joint caps to the rear yoke since it was extensively damaged.

Mack and I made it back home on the 16th of August after 14 days on the road and ~ 5,300 miles later. We finished the mission by dipping our tires in the Tennessee River and finally by putting water on the flag. Looking at the next 2 years, I am thinking about how to make it better, different, and more meaningful.

I express the deepest and most sincere thank you to my sponsors, my supporters, my friends, family, and strangers on the road who become my heroes. Thank you,

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making this mission possible!

Mtn View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA

Grace Frank Group in Chattanooga, TN

Off-Grid Living & Design – Tiny Homes in Wildwood, GA

Joshua Kapellusch

2018 Fallen 5 Drive, Out.

The Return Home

Day 6 The Bridge

On day 6 I awoke to the sound of a small sea plane flying low and couldn’t help but think of all the WWII aircraft that would have been flying around in the early 1940’s. I love air planes and so this was perfect to wake up to. I also heard seagulls, wind, people, and my loud tarp flapping in the wind as it had every night so far. I peeked out of my tarp and saw it, the Golden Gate Bridge. The 2018 mission was about to be completed. I was excited, proud, sad, and relieved all at once.

I planned to leave my dog Mack in the truck and have him guard it while I completed the mission. I prepared the truck and myself to walk the flag. The only problem was that there was no clear path to hike up. After a short time of walking around looking for a trail I decided that I would have to drive, park, and walk the flag from the main parking area. I had to drive over the bridge, turn around and drive over it again to park. My biggest concern with this was that my dog would jump out of the convertible truck when I was on the bridge and he would be gone when I got back.

Once I found a spot to park I secured Mack and prepared to walk the flag. This part is actually the most emotional part. The time between parking and then walking the flag is euphoric. I had so many emotions at once. I was proud to have completed the grueling 5 day drive, relieved to have arrived despite mechanical issues, honored to sacrifice for the Fallen 5,  and sad to be alone on the bridge this year. Finding and choosing a co-pilot is tough, but I also wanted to make this year’s trip alone after my son said he couldn’t come this year. Another thing I needed complete this year’s mission was a volunteer to help me fold the flag. I realized how difficult this may be after hanging the flag. Last year we were on the bridge on September 11th which was really special.

Alone and walking I cried thinking about the loss of the Fallen 5. They were no longer here because of some cowardly “terrorist” attack. One individual caused so much pain and loss, my hope is that my actions combined with others, can overpower this evil act with love and unity. “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”. – Dr. Martin Luther King.

 

 

The American flag represents our unity, our heritage, and remembrance for those who have sacrificed to keep this country free by protecting the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Our freedoms, liberties, and general pursuits to happiness are under extreme attack today. There are those in government who believe the people shall be controlled and subject to governed rule, and then there are those who believe in shared ideals and common bond of love and happiness. The purpose of government is to guarantee and protect inalienable rights for all Americans to pursue happiness. Today it seems as though you are only allowed to be happy if you follow all the laws, regulations, pay all the taxes, don’t cause a problem, and simply go along with everyone else. This is not the American way.

When I fly that flag off the bridge I salute it, hold and feel the moment as the rush of all the busy noises of cars, bikers, walkers, wind, and chaos wash away into a complete silence and for those few moments I feel good – completely solid. In those moments I feel everything coursing through my body. I remember all the war documentaries I have studied, the number men and women who sailed under that bridge and never came home to protect our freedoms. I remember the Fallen 5 and why I am doing this mission. I remember my own sacrifices in the military and my grandfathers before me. I remember my sacrifices all year to make this moment happen. Most important to me I remember my sons who are looking to me for protection and guidance. I am doing for others, what I would have wanted done for me. It is as simple this; we all have a common bond as humans – we were created perfectly by God to do good works for others and to love others just as Jesus loved us. God sent his only son to die on the cross to pay for all of our sins saving us from evil. With God all things are possible and when I run out of 5 physical fuels I run on a sixth fuel – it is God’s love and the American spirit of unity we all share.

My goal is to inspire others to pursue their dreams of happiness by making technology work for us to live better, more free lives. Combining this with love for mankind and respect for one another we can make huge strides in making this world a better place. I want to turn this tragedy into a triumph and I am doing that each year with every mile I drive. All the times I stop and talk to people about the Fallen 5 and the truck – they are humbled and inspired, but they always remember the Fallen 5.

I want to thank all of my sponsors for making the 2018 Fallen 5 Drive a success!

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making this mission possible!

Mtn View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA

Grace Frank Group in Chattanooga, TN

Off-Grid Living & Design – Tiny Homes in Wildwood, GA

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 6, 2018

Day 5. Orem, Utah to Bonneville Salt Flats to San Francisco, CA. 774 miles

Once Mack and I got everything put away and ready for the day I went into Ready Gunner and just fell in love! I walked in and saw guns, a shooting range, and coffee… I’m not sure if I cried or not, probably had some lip quivering and watery eyes, but I felt so at home and American. I hung out and talked about guns and coffee for about 1 hour. This was so wonderful! We need more coffee / gun stores!

After having my first cup of Black Rifle Coffee Company coffee I knew this company was the real deal. I never support companies unless I believe in them. This company is amazing and has American values and ideals at the forefront of every action. I can always find ways to support these kinds of companies compared to the huge, main-stream anti-American companies operating all over this country.

Upon leaving Ready Gunner I set out to visit Black Rifle Coffee Company in Salt Lake City, UT. They are affiliated and work together as some of the owners are part of both companies. This combination of patriotism and quality products / services is top notch and should be looked at as way to do business in America moving forward. They have unity, a mission, and a purpose people can believe in as I do.

I met Jeff Kirkham and he graciously gave me a tour of the facility and several goodies! Everything at Black Rifle Coffee Company is done in-house and their coffee experts travel the world for the best coffee beans possible. They are such a great group of people creating the best coffee and camaraderie despite all the madness out in the world today. These people give me hope. They also gave me a ton of coffee! Throughout the trip I would be giving these bags away to special people as token of appreciation.

After my stop in Salt Lake City I needed to get on the road again making mileage. I mapped out the route which would take me to Interstate 80 heading west to San Francisco. This was the last day of the trip so I had to make it to the bridge. I had enough coffee at this point to stay up for 2 days!

Little did I know that I would be passing by BONNEVILLE! The Bonneville salt flats is where land speed records are set for vehicles. The salt is flat, long, and provides a perfect racing surface for race at high speeds. I just had to stop in and experience it myself! We turned and in just a few miles the Blazer of Glory was setting a new world speed record for the 5 fueled truck at a whopping 35 miles per hour. There was no sense in blasting the salt for speed since the blazer is computer controlled to 96 mph and the salt would eat away at the blazer anyway. Maybe next year I’ll prepare for speed week to see what we can stir up!

We drove all day and made our fuel stops as needed. The Rocky Mountains provide so much to look at. It was hot, dry, and largely uneventful. My next goal was to wake up and see the Golden Gate Bridge on the day we were to fly the flag. With the GPS set to San Francisco we pressed on and on. Finally at 11:58 pm we saw the bridge! After finding a parking spot right on the ocean, I shut the motor off and was calmed by the waves of the ocean. San Francisco is a cold, and windy city. Being right on the ocean with a cold Pacific breeze at night is something special. The fog was heavy and the bridge had a slightly cold and eerie presence with its yellow lights and red paint. The last thing to do was wake up the next day, walk the folded American flag to the center of the bridge, unfold it, and let it freely fly for the Fallen 5.

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making this mission possible!

Mtn View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA

Grace Frank Group in Chattanooga, TN

Off-Grid Living & Design – Tiny Homes in Wildwood, GA

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 5, 2018

Day 4. Colorado Springs to Pikes Peak to Orem, UT. 614 miles

Waking up on day 4 was amazing. Mack and I survived the cold wind and rain and I felt refreshed. Honestly, I believe the good sleep was from not getting any the night before. Also, seeing the Rocky Mountains is very reviving in the morning. After taking some pictures and saying our goodbyes, we departed for the nearest coffee shop to wake up more and get some internet. 

As I sat there staring out at the mountains I couldn’t help but think about which one was Pikes Peak. I then researched it, mapped out the distance, calculated my fuel loads, time for the day’s travel, and calculated the risk of climbing Pikes Peak in the World’s First 5 fueled truck! The fastest Pikes Peak climb record in a vehicle was reset in 2018 so I figured I’d make another record in 2018. The difference between me and Volkswagen is that I set a world record in a vehicle that was self-built from a passion for doing good for others with essentially no media coverage and very small funds…and I’m just one American dude who designed and built the World’s first 5 fueled truck to make a statement and hopefully an impact?

Anyway, despite the risks of breaking down, starting on fire, driving off the mountain, and the lost time from the drive up the mountain, I decided to do it! I made sure my fuel tanks were about half full for natural gas and propane. I only put 10 gallons of gasoline in the Blazer of Glory back in Chattanooga, so I didn’t really need any gasoline. I knew going up I would use natural gas as far as I could, then switch to propane when it started losing power or running rough. As we ascended in elevation I kept a close eye on all my computers and fuel trims. I knew that this would be the most challenging tune of my life driving up Pikes Peak.

Somewhere about halfway up, the natural gas was not happy. It needed more air per fuel ratio and as we drove up there was less air, less power, and the engine was not performing at 100%. I could have kept tuning on natural gas, but I switched to propane and restarted our journey to the top. Once on propane the truck was much happier although I would continue tuning the whole drive up, leaning out the fuel mixture to make sure the engine was running great!

As I climbed higher and higher it got colder and windier. I ended up wearing all my coats and hats to keep warm as it was in the 70’s just a few moments earlier. This is why Pikes Peak is so challenging – the vast change in climate and elevation makes it very difficult to get a car perfectly tuned to race up. As I tuned I drove and that’s when I saw them: 2 Ford Model T’s driving up Pikes Peak together! It was an amazing moment for me as these trucks were innovative for their time, are convertibles like mine, and were still driving so well they could climb Pikes Peak. I felt the importance of the mission and my purpose for the truck. I am taking the memory of the Fallen 5 with me wherever I go and I feel they and God are watching over me on the trip especially when things go wrong. They also seem to create moments such as following these 1925 Ford Model T’s up Pikes Peak, then to park right next to them and compare almost 100 years of automotive technology. How amazing!

After getting too cold and excited it was time to head back down! For this decent Mack and I enjoyed ourselves on the mountain taking in the views, the moment, and capturing photos/video to share. We stopped 2 times to cool our brakes, raised the solar panel to become an aero-brake, drove through a snow-storm, and ate a bit of lunch about ½ way down. After finally getting off the mountain and back on the road it was already 4:00 pm – much later than I anticipated.

As the sun was setting we drove through the Rocky Mountains at almost the same time as last year. Some places were cooler than others we experienced in the openness of the truck. At this point the changes in elevation, temperature, or weather seem to have little affect on my comfort. Mack and I were used to being outside on our 4th day.

After calculating my mileages, fuel loads, fuel stations, and time I set a destination of Salt Lake City, UT. Driving into the night is unpredictable since you don’t actually know how far you can mentally or physically make it. Setting goals and making the mileage no matter the hour is vital to this mission’s success. Sometime after driving countless miles I began thinking about companies and other stops I could make to have a greater impact on others and to honor the Fallen 5.

I researched Ready Gunner in Orem, UT and Black Rifle Coffee Company in Salt Lake City, UT to plan where I would wake up. I chose to sleep at Ready Gunner since I love guns and coffee so what better than to wake up at a coffee / gun shop owned by veterans! The only problem was that I hadn’t had a shower in 4/5 days and I drove so long that when I got to Orem, UT the sun was coming up. I quickly stopped in a Flying J to take my much needed first shower of the trip before arriving at Ready Gunner.

Mack and I were quite tired so I made some shade from one of our American flags and tucked into my sleeping bag. I woke up maybe 2 hours later as the sun rose over the Utah mountains! It was epic! And so calming.

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 3 Mission Update- Salina, KS to Colorado Springs, CO. 417 Miles.

Arriving late in Salina, KS left us in the dark and about to enter a heavy storm. I picked this stop for a propane stop as I mapped out our fuel and sleep stops for the mission. Keep in mind we must travel at least 500 miles a day to keep up with the mission: 5 fuels, 5 days, for the Fallen 5. I must calculate distances for each fuel stop, directions, and distance goals for each day.

Last year we stopped here for propane and the company in Salina, KS named Propane Central filled our tank for free! Awesome people! I wanted to stop and say hello again, but I would have to wait until the morning. The wind and rain made this night of the trip the worst for sleeping and comfort. The wind blew so hard the trap kept ripping off just as I dozed off to sleep. So at about 5:00 am I finally fell asleep for about 2 hours. It was like sleeping in a Wal-Mart bag…horrible!

Once awake and ready to go, Mach and I set out to get propane and coffee and head west. Every time I visit Kansas the people really inspire me with their kindness. All along the journey in Kansas I met so many kind people. Year after year, the people in this state are so nice and makes me look forward to seeing these people. The terrain is flat and grassy, but it is very peaceful. A few times after traveling for so long we would dodge off and travel down a dirt road for a bit either for a break or just to catch up on media and check on the truck. We met some nice cows and got some great pictures before heading toward Colorado.

Last year on this part of the trip I got a bad migraine and altitude sickness so on this day I was sure to hydrate and keep food in me. As I traveled I noticed that there was a tiny home festival in Colorado Springs, CO at the Air Force Academy! I checked the mileage difference between Denver and Co. Springs and decided to spend the night at the Bass Pro Shops with my tiny home friends! Arriving just as it was getting dark I was welcomed in and after a short time Mack and I were tucked into bed. It was cold, windy, and rained, but being among friends far from home was warming enough. Mack and I fell fast asleep after a long day of driving across the plains to the Rockies. In the morning we would awake to the view of the Rockies!

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making this mission possible!

Mtn View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA

Grace Frank Group in Chattanooga, TN

Off-Grid Living & Design – Tiny Homes in Wildwood, GA

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 3, 2018

Day 2. Paducah, KY to Salina, KS. 594 miles

Waking up in the Blazer of Glory is an adventure in itself. Before leaving I picked up a tarp and some large clamps to make a “tiny house” for Mack and I on our travels. Each night after driving as long as I can I stop and try to pick a city with fuel, parts, and a place to park. We got lucky and found a nice place next to a McDonalds.

In the morning we were in the shade luckily, because the sun was warming the day quickly. Mack had fun night of protecting the blazer from evil cats! Someone was feeding them and it seemed to be a cat haven.

This day I knew I had some maintenance to do on the truck. Before leaving I completed some pretty extensive repairs and upgrades. At some point I had to divide up the tasks to ones I could complete on the road. It makes it more fun that way! I’ve brought most of my tools and spare parts to make any repairs as needed.

I arrived at O’Reillys to change my rear differential fluid to a heavy synthetic Royal Purple oil to cut down on the gear noise and give me a piece of mind. Royal Purple is the only oil I trust for racing or any extreme abusive situation. In fact, I only change the oil in the blazer once a year before the trip. After talking to some nice people and getting the work done, we were on our way.

This part of the drive is long, hot, and somewhat non-eventful. I planned out my fuel stops for the day. I would fill up in Saint Louis with Natural gas and propane. The goal would be to drive across Kansas without using any gasoline. The gasoline is actually just a back up….40 gallons worth! I try to use clean, American fuels the whole way. Mack and I just ripped across the country flying old glory for the Fallen 5 using American fuels. It is perfect.

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making this mission possible!

Mtn View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA

Grace Frank Group in Chattanooga, TN

Off-Grid Living & Design – Tiny Homes in Wildwood, GA

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 2, 2018

Day 2. Paducah, KY to Salina, KS. 594 miles

Day 1. August 2nd, 2018. Chattanooga, TN to Paducah, KY. 267 miles

The departure date was very welcomed after a few mechanical delays with the ’72 Chevy set us back. After getting everything fixed up and tested I set to leave on the 30th of July. Some work-related tasks needed to be completed as well as work on the truck. So eventually I left with my dog Mack on the 2nd of August in the rain. We ate supper with the Fallen 5 as I do every year. I take this time to really feel the emotion of the event 3 years ago.

The entire trip is focused on the Fallen 5. I constantly ask myself if I am doing enough, in the right way, and to the right people. I do know that I perform to my absolute best in this honorable mission. I am the keeper of the Fallen 5 Drive flag from the Amnicola shooting site. My duty is to fly it from the Goldgen Gate Bridge for them. So in reality, I just need to get that flag there on that bridge – everything else is part of the story. People love stories. I tell the story of the Fallen 5 everywhere I go.

I begin the drive each year by starting the Fallen 5 Drive from the memorial site off Lee Hwy in Chattanooga. I then take the path of the shooter to the Naval Station and Marine Reserve Center. On this part of the drive it has the most meaning, to take up a new mission for good and carry their honor. It is my way of fighting the pain of loss and the fear of hateful acts. We must show love and unity, not hate and division. The Blazer of Glory carries this message.

After dipping my tires in the Tennessee River and putting water on the American flag I set out for the 5,000 mile mission! I departed sometime around 5:00 pm. I always drive in Chattanooga for a bit for encouragement then set out for the 5,000 mile challenge ahead!

At about 1:00 pm I settled into the Blazer of Glory for the night with Mack my dog. I intent on sleeping in the truck for the entire trip as an added level of excitement! Stay tuned for more!

Thank you to our sponsors and contributors for making this mission possible!

Mtn View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA

Grace Frank Group in Chattanooga, TN

Off-Grid Living & Design – Tiny Homes in Wildwood, GA

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 1, 2018

Follow along for the 2018 drive for the Fallen 5.

Fallen 5 Drive Update

Dear Supporters,

On July 16th I drove the Blazer of Glory all over Chattanooga, TN and to Ringgold and Rossville, GA. The community support was amazing! People always waive, honk, and give the thumbs up. It makes me so proud to be a rolling, living, memorial to the Fallen 5. I visited all of the memorial sites dedicated to the Fallen 5 on July, 16th and paid my respects. It was an honor to travel and see all the supporters in the city while in the Blazer of Glory.

I have delayed the departure of our trip to July 30th due to mechanical failure in the rear differential in the Blazer of Glory. Over the course of building the roll cage and rear bumper at Hudlow Axle in the week leading up to leaving, I noticed a small leak and drip from the pinion seal. Sometimes this can be fixed by simply changing the seal, or in this case it needed to be rebuilt. On July 16th I arrived at Hudlow Axle to repair the seal; I changed the outer pinion bearing and crush sleeve in hopes of fixing the problem.

Steve Hudlow, the owner of Hudlow Axle, is one of our supporting sponsors and allowed me to fabricate the roll cage using his tubing bender. His company which I work for several years ago specializes in differentials, gears, driveshafts, transfer cases, and many other specialized drive train services. After driving the Blazer of Glory on July 16th with the intent to leave that day, it was becoming a realization the truck would need a rebuild on the rear differential.

Luckily, I was in good hands again at Hudlow Axle with parts and tools. I performed intense surgery on the Blazer of Glory on July 18th replacing the bearings and races in the carrier and on the pinion. The main gear ratio is 3.73 with open differential carriers. The gear set was certainly worn as well; basically, everything was worn out in the differential in the 46 year old truck! So after replacing the bearings, the pinion seal, and oil I drove the truck some more. The rear differential is a little loud and the overall reliability of the parts is questionable at this point since the truck needs to be test driven more. It blew a faulty pinion seal on the way home from Rossville last night.

Blazer of Glory Maintenance

The best plan for making the mission a success without being stranded is to delay the trip a couple weeks and test the truck. I am disappointed, however the truck is a machine and machines break down. We are lucky to have discovered the worn parts before leaving! I will keep you posted on our progress and thank you for our support!

Joshua D. Kapellusch

D-DAY – Departure Day for the Fallen 5

3 years ago today 5 men were gunned down by a cowardly so-called terrorist. Our Fallen 5 set out on this day to serve their country as they had done many times before not knowing it would be their last. Usually war is prepared for and death is sometimes anticipated as you go to war. This was different in that these men were defenseless and were not deployed, simply working hard training at home here in Chattanooga.

Terrorism is the weapon of cowards. It is not even gorilla warfare, it is the lowest form of attack conceived by man. A disgruntled individual or individuals who form groups cannot have honor, nor command respect. To be hidden, shadowy, and seek only opportunities that present the least amount defense is weak at best.

The best way to fight terrorism is with love and unity. If we begin to accept and tolerate people who are different from us, we can being to make progress. We must be ever vigilant from threats in our communities, especially with our children. Terrorism is taking on new forms in ways of school shooting, even vehicular attacks. The same old problems persist, an extreme rage of anger with acts of violence toward masses of innocent people. If you see something say something, talk to someone and intervene. Even if it is something small.

July 16th, 2018

Lets never forget the Fallen 5 by keeping them in our memories. Pray for their families and loved one. Pray for me as I make this memorable 5,000 mile trip.

Joshua Kapellusch

 

Watch the News Channel 3 “3 Plus you” Interview!

Follow this link to watch the amazing interview! Thank you to Julie Edwards and David Karnes from News Channel 3 for your support! We love you guys!

http://www.wrcbtv.com/clip/14456402/3-plus-community

A special thanks to Lebron Clark from Mountian View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA for setting up the interview and becoming the main 2018 sponsor! We are forever thankful!

Thank you to the Grace Frank Group for their 2018 sponsorship! Visit the website for more information on THE BEST real estate in Chattanooga!

Another huge thanks to Hudlow Axle coming through for us on the roll cage and rear bumper!

Stay tuned for updates!

Tune Into News Channel 3 for “3 Plus You” – We Will Be ON AIR! Friday June 29th, and July 4th

Julie Edwards from News Channel 3 called and invited us on her show! Lebron Clark from Mountain View Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Ringgold, GA arranged the meeting and we are thrilled! Tune into News Channel 3 for “3 Plus You” on June 29th, and again on July 4th.

Our message of remembrance is very important to be shared as it helps heal our community. Each year we must remember them and as time goes on it makes our mission even more important. The support from our community is awesome and could not be more proud of where we live.

As we drive across the United States thousands of people see the truck and remember the Fallen 5. The flag is hung from the bridge each year in their honor, folded back up, and rides in the dash of the Blazer of Glory.

Support our mission and remember the Fallen 5.

Joshua Kapellusch

Sponsor the 2018 Fallen 5 Drive, Read How

The goal of your sponsorship is to assist the Fallen 5 Drive Team with covering the expenses of the mission to carry the Amnicola American Flag to the Golden Gate Bridge to be flown. Each company or organization wishing to sponsor the Fallen 5 Drive is entitled to corresponding levels of support. The Fallen 5 Drive Team’s goal is to represent each company or organization fairly with sponsorship and placement on the truck and website. Earlier donations receive priority placement due to space limitations so reserve your space early. Joshua will customize your logo placement and coordination of any events and online support.

The overall goal of the drive is to maximize exposure for the remembrance of the Fallen 5 and our mission. In doing so we encourage people to support our sponsors who make the mission possible. We are a rolling, interactive Fallen 5 memorial that drives over 10,000 miles each year across the country and especially in Chattanooga, Tennessee throughout the year.

Levels of Sponsorship
Platinum: Primary logo / Company information placement on truck, falllen5drive.org website, and materials. Media coverage, name inclusions, and custom media around your company or organization. Events and other ideas are welcomed including media such as newspapers, tv news, and others to include potential national news. Joshua also speaks to people about the mission to groups in meetings to promote unity and purpose in the workplace. Sponsoring the mission is exciting!
$2,500.00

Gold: Prominent logo / Company information on truck, fallen5drive.org website, and materials. Mentions, inclusions, and custom media including your company or organization. Some events and other inclusions for certain events. Other ideas and custom supportive efforts are welcomed!
$1,000 +

Silver: Logo / Company information on truck, fallen5drive.org website, and some materials. Other ideas and custom supportive efforts are welcomed
$500 +

Hero: Individual, companies, and organizations are welcomed to support our mission. If you want recognition, please let Joshua know. Small donations make a huge difference in making the drive possible. We love to include as many people as possible since it feels so great to do something good.
$ any

To learn more contact Joshua at 423.414.8233 or fallen5drive@gmail.com. Any ideas or suggestions are welcomed! Visit our Fallen 5 Drive Facebook page as well.

Thank you,

Joshua Kapellusch

Fallen 5 Drive Story

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is all about remembering the men and women who sacrificed their lives to to preserve our freedoms. Our country has a long history, as other countries do. We have our problems and divisions, however we are all united by a common bond we call being American. It is our inherent duty to make things better for each of our own interests, as well as for our fellow countrymen and women. We do it best by working together. This sometimes takes great private  and public sacrifices, even the giving of one’s life to save another.

We often change our self identities with culture shifts and changes with time. What never fades is the courage of people who take an oath to give their lives for the sake of others. Joining any branch of service guarantees no safe return trip home. Some never did, but they are not forgotten.

It is our duty to remember those that have no voice because they are fallen, honor them with thoughts and actions. Visit graves, tell stories, and say thank you because you never know what dark hell someone had to get through to live another day, while others passed away.

I would like to thank my Great Grandpa Harvey who served in WWII in the Navy operating landing craft in the Pacific theater. I visited him on the way home from the 2017 trip and had a special time hearing his stories.

We will be attending the ceremony at the Chattanooga National Cemetery at 11:00 am, on Monday the 29th, of May, 2018.

Read More Here

Joshua Kapellusch

 

Read About How You Can Help!

Hello,

Thank you everyone who has supported the mission! I am sincerely grateful for the support of the community as a whole, and individually.

The reason I am on a mission to remember the Fallen 5 is because I believe it is what they would have wanted. To be remembered. To never be forgotten, ever.  Each time someone sees the truck, they must remember the Fallen 5. My goal is to make their memory and sacrifice a positive one – a good memory. I want people to ask questions about the Fallen 5 so I can tell their story.

I remember how Chattanoogans came together as a community on that day, and long after. I have made it my personal mission to show the world how people can come together with love, and overcome any terrible act. My City – Chattanooga – is a loving city. We have healed from the attacks, but we are still healing. Healing is not forgetting, it is growth.

The mission is important and it takes a lot of sacrifice to make it successful. For the 3rd year we are making it happen and need your help.

Below is more information on how you can help us!

The Fallen 5 Drive updated sheet

Thank you!

Joshua Kapellusch

The Drive in 2018

Year after year, like an old flag flying I will make the 5,000 mile journey for the Fallen 5.

To NEVER FORGET means to never forget. 5 men no longer have a voice, no way to say what they feel – so I’ll be that voice and do my best to remember them, and help others to do the same.

The importance of remembrance is the highest honor you can give to those who have sacrificed. Remember them. Their lives. Their sacrifice.

Some made it home,  some didn’t. Some in one piece, others in pieces. We veterans are never the same as we were before our service. Sacrificing changes you forever. When you make the commitment to protect and serve your fellow citizens with your life, it changes you! To value other’s lives more than your own is the greatest honor. To serve…

No one really wants to die without  purpose, or to be forgotten. When you are in service for the – armed forces, police duty, fire fighting, or EMS – you have a distinct purpose and their is honor in death. If you survive, one of the hardest things to find is that same purpose afterward. You search the world over to find that same feeling of pride and honor. The importance of your past never leaves your memory. This is what being a veteran is about: to remember and help others remember.

All veterans know without saying a word what it means to serve, and to have served. We can pick each other out in a crowd and a simple, respectful nod is all we need from one another. It keeps us going. There is a brotherhood among us – regardless of branch. Not all of us got shot or killed other people, but we served as one team with one mission! WE PRESERVED AMERICAN FREEDOMS FOR ALL TOGETHER.

I believe it is my continued duty to help people remember. I want people to care. Daniel Hopson the first Co-Pilot, once said “You have to make those who care, care more,” and we did! I can’t forget about these 5 men. I served my country so this wouldn’t happen in my homeland, but it did. All this means is my mission is not over, I cannot quit nor will I.

We are preparing earlier for the 2018 mission as we didn’t raise enough money to cover the costs of the 2017 mission. Personally I have sacrificed thousands of dollars and  time to make this mission happen. It is my goal to raise enough money to cover the cost  each year so I can continue this epic cross-country mission.

If you feel compelled to help donate via pay pal or contact me for more information on sponsorship. Thank you!

Joshua D. Kapellusch

Founder of the Fallen 5 Drive.

Fallen 5 Drive 2018

Follow along as we build support and funding for the 2018 mission to the Golden Gate Bridge for the 3rd year in a row! This year Boden Kapellusch, Joshua Kapellusch's oldest son will ride with him!

The Bridge

This day is about hanging the flag on the bridge. Alive and not eaten by bears, we awoke to a rather cold morning. A silent epic-ness screamed with the daylight bringing alive all of God’s creatures. The site was really just a parking lot, fairly open with campsites and campers off into the woods.

Since we weighed the options of spending the night in San Francisco vs. the Yosemite National Park – the park won, even with the bears! Day 6 was certainly the most exciting one for me. It was only a couple hour drive and we left early in the morning. The sights were beautiful and gave me a chance to reflect on the importance of our mission. So close to completing the crossing of the flag, I was eager to drive.

After negotiating the usual traffic and after a quick propane stop, we were in San Francisco! The bridge came into view and it was a proud moment. For the second year in a row we brought the flag to the bridge to remember the Fallen 5. Crossing the bridge was a proud moment especially since it was September 11th. After parking and a few pictures we began the long walk to the center of the bridge. It’s a walk in which you think about these men that died. I also get really excited to finally fly the flag.

After getting the zip ties ready, I reached for the flag from my pocket. Michelle got the camera ready and went Facebook live to record the moment of hanging the flag. It was a wonderful feeling to see the flag flying for a second time. I spoke a little bit on the moment and then we paused to show our respect. Over a period of time we watched people stop to take pictures with the flag. Couples, selfie-takers, and photographers all stopped to take pictures. Then a police officer on a bike approached and my sixth sense told me that we were about to have our flag forced down. I allowed the police officer to explain himself, and he allowed me to explain our mission and purpose. We both understood that the flag must come down or force arrest – sadly. The cop, a former marine himself, did not agree with the order but still enforced it.

Michelle and I folded the flag after cutting it down. It will remain folded until it flies again next year off the bridge. The flag again sought its place in the dash of the Blazer of Glory until next year. The last part of the mission was to put ocean water on the flag and Blazer to connect the bodies of water. After loading back up we headed over the bridge for a final pass. Our mission was complete! We did it! Now the flag will return to Chattanooga, TN with us. We will NEVER FORGET the Fallen 5.

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 5, September 10th

Day 5. Salina, UT to Yosimite National Park. CA

The sun warmed the day as it rose over the canyon walls. Parking at night always leaves a bit of question in your mind as to where you really are. Sometimes it can be a good spot, others not so much. However, this spot paid off greatly! It was so beautiful! We planned on sleeping outside a few nights of the trip to enjoy nature and save money. We packed warm clothes, rain gear, and sleeping bags. Also added was rolls of garbage bags, zip lock bags, and a new tote. Keeping things dry in an open top truck is a must!

In the good practice of keeping expenses down, our goal was to have plenty of snacks and food packed with us. At the store we picked up food to make sandwiches, but also sausage and bacon to cook from the Blazer of Glory! The grill can attach to the truck’s propane for cooking. Somewhere in the desert we pulled off and drove up a large hill to cook our bacon and sausage for breakfast.

After our little off-grid experience we were back on the road to California. We arrived at Yosemite National Park after dark and decided to pull off into a cove. Michelle would say ”Slept outside in cove with the bear sniff’n my meaty breath…”

We decided to sleep outside in the truck at Yosemite…with the bears! We hadn’t realized we packed so much food with us including the day’s trash. The signs were everywhere warning about bears and food! So we sat there in the absolute dark making ham sandwiches and thinking about the pan with bacon grease on it and how bears would love to check us out.

Joshua Kapellusch

Day 4, September 9th

Day 4. Breckenridge, CO to Salina, UT

On day 4 we awoke and departed the hotel on our way to Salina, UT. The Blazer of Glory needed some oil due to the leak the day before – our roadside repair was working! On our way out of town we noticed the Oktoberfest and our hunger so we ate some delicious traditional German food. As we left a sleet / snow / rain fell on us to leave a reminder we were in the mountains and in a convertible truck!

The terrrain and the day rolled along. The mountains have a quiet wonder about them, it gives you time to think. I wondered about what it was like to cross this terrain by wagon long ago. The early settlers of this land sure had a difficult road ahead with no guarantee they would make it to where they intended. This is similar to life’s road in many ways… This trip to honor the Fallen 5 takes us to places we never expected. On nearly every stop we are asked about the truck, the ‘writing’ on the side of it – and so we tell them and they remember the Fallen 5.

During the day we filled up with propane and natural gas later that night. A resupply stop was also needed. Somewhere outside of Salina, UT we pulled off and camped out in the Blazer of Glory for the first time on the trip. The temperature was perfect!

Josh Kapellusch

Day 3, September 8th

Day 3. September 8th, Salina, KS to Breckenridge, CO

Starting this day we turned on the TV and watch the news to see the Governor of Florida issuing an evacuation notice. Later that day we would see many people with Texas and Florida license places often loaded with personal items.

In our process of acclimating to the journey, we first get a plan going of where we are headed and how far it is in miles and hours. We then t

Joshua Kapellusch

ry to look up fuel stops for propane and natural gas based on how much fuel we have on board. I try not to run with full tanks of all the fuel due primarily to the weight. I like to see about ½ a tank of gasoline which equals 20 gallons. They we try to keep one alternative fuel tank full as a reserve and one at least at ¼ tank. This way if there are any problems we can simply switch fuels.

After tuning up the truck with a gasoline fuel filter change and a fluid check we ate breakfast and got coffee. Next stop was the parts store for a tee fitting for my propane and natural gas regulators. It uses engine vacuum to help regulate the fuel flow so this was an important part to fix! Then the best part of the trip thus far occurred, Propane Central filled our propane tank for free – 35 Gallons! It’s always a great reminder of the kindness in Americans hearts! Visit their location for your propane needs in Salina, KS!!!

Joshua Kapellusch

As we traveled westward, elevation ever increased and Denver was our next major stop along the route. Nearing the city we noticed a haze from dust or smog, perhaps from wind or congestion. The truck needed natural gas so we stopped and paid $1.99 per gallon and filled a record of over 27 gallons in the tank! The 125 octane rating is good for high altitude and for air pollution. I noticed that there was 85 octane gasoline for $2.59 or so and 87 octane for $2.89 per gallon.

The city was pretty and leaving Denver, you will see the majestic Rocky Mountains. Traffic was heavy for us around 5-7 pm. Departing we encountered a major issue with the Blazer of Glory! The oil gauge pressure line ruptured and

Joshua Kapellusch

was spraying oil on the motor and exhaust causing a lot of white smoke going up the hill so we pulled over. After quickly crawling under the truck I spotted the source, but not without first getting burnt with hot oil!  Michelle and I worked for about 30 – 45 minutes fixing it the problem and were back on the road.

Joshua Kapellusch

This part of the trip is perhaps the most beautiful! Crossing through the mountains and old mining towns… One of the most special moments for me was the chance of cruising with another ’72 Chevy Blazer in the tunnels in Colorado! It was awesome! We reached Breckenridge, CO that night at approximately 10:00 pm. I got altitude sickness and almost passed out, but was relieved after drinking some Dr. Peppers and eating. We found a wonderful hotel with an amazing view and finally went to bed.

Josh

Day 2, September 7th

Day 2. Clarksville, TN to Salina, KS

In Clarksville we awoke in our comfortable Red Roof Inn room and ate a delicious little breakfast. The night before was a bit long in time and short in distance. Traffic was largely to blame as we were caught in some road construction…

Day 2 was all about making up for the lack of distance we didn’t make on the first day of travel due to a late start. The destination was for Salina, KS. Last year on the trip we stopped there on the way back because we were out of propane and decided to try and get some in the morning. It seemed fitting to stop there – also because it was 688 miles away to make up for lost mileage the day before.

Joshua Kapellusch

On this “Northern Route” we drive through Saint Louis, MO which is quite beautiful. As we drive the challenge for us is to use as much alternative fuel as possible! That means planning fuel stops for propane and natural gas. We confront availability on the route and prices compared to gasoline. Natural gas ranges in price from $.79 to $2.49 per gallon. Propane ranges in price from $.1.68 to $4.99 – so you really have to pay attention to where you fill up. It is important we use these fuels because they are American!  and Clean!

Since we have so much fuel on board we are not limited much to our needs to stop. We drove across Missouri on Highway 70 and would continue on this highway for many more miles to come in the trip. We did make a stop along a detour to check out the awesome corn nearly ready for harvest! We drove through Kansas City to near Topeaka, KS and ate at the Texas Roadhouse! They have the best meals and steaks! Thank you Texas Roadhouse!

Joshua Kapellusch

After eating we resupplied at the local Walmart and chatted with some intrigued local people. We also picked up an awesome pumpkin as a side kick! One of our messages is to never let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams. We arrived late in Salina, KS as our final stop for the day.

Day 1, September 6th

Joshua Kapellusch

The day had finally come – the beginning of the journey! We were about to leave after all the months of waiting and anticipating! 5,000 miles and almost 2 weeks of sacrifice lay ahead – all for the Fallen 5!

In keeping with last year’s tradition – we were off to a late start! I always seem to be running a bit behind when it comes to getting the truck prepared and all our things packed! Since we did not raise the full $5,000 we personally saved the money. Michelle Cantrell contributed money and time to make the trip possible, and I am so thankful! We just installed new natural gas and propane computers, replaced the front wheel bearing, a u-joint, a steering joint, rewired the truck, and other updates. Also, the day we left we also made a new top!

Joshua Kapellusch

We arrived at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center off Lee Hwy where the shooting began on July 16th, 2015. This is where our journey begins. After paying our respects we began our journey by taking the path of the shooter. We recorded our short drive by going on Facebook live. Check our our Facebook page – Fallen 5 Drive. We arrived at the Naval Reserve Training Center and dipped our tires in the Tennessee River and put water on the flag. In this way we will connect the bodies of water – the Tennessee River and the Pacific Ocean by putting water on the flag and water on the tires.

Since we left so late we made it to Clarksville, TN to spend the night. So on day 2 we’ll be making up for the lack of mileage on the first day. Our next stop will be in Salina, KS. Stay tuned as we put on more miles for the Fallen 5!

Josh

We Are Leaving September 6th!

The mission is set! September 6th is the day of departure! We will be on the bridge on September 11th as that seemed to be the most fitting date since we were delayed. So much work has gone into remembering the Fallen 5. The support of the community was felt and so much love was shown!

Over the past month or so we have been working hard to save the needed funds for our mission! We raised money from our sponsors and some threw in a few goodies to show their support.

The strong passion I feel to remember these men has driven me to sacrifice in the best way I know how to – which is to drive 5,000 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge where the flag will fly as it did one year ago. This flag is a symbol of solidarity and sacrifice. It stays folded until it fly’s on the bridge. This bridge to me is a symbol of where we are supposed to fight our battles. So many Marines and Sailors passed under that bridge and never came home after fighting for their country. The Fallen 5 never got a chance to fight back. So I will carry on their fight, year after year.

It seems now days, Americans are so divided. This is not how I want my country to be portrayed. This is not how I want to live. The Chattanoogan community came together on July 16th, and in the days following. I want the rest of the country to be like  we were on that day – UNITED! And we will stand –  for the flag, for each other, and for the Fallen 5. I fly a flag on the back of the Blazer of Glory for a reason, its because I’m proud of my country and love to celebrate my freedom!

Wish us luck as we depart on September 6th and stay tuned for the flag flying off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Josh