preston sharp 12 year old with a

Preston Sharp – 12 Year Old With A Vision to Make Everyday Veterans Day!

Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, has a real heart for veterans. And his passion is inspiring others around the country to make a difference.

On Veterans Day in 2015, Preston visited the grave of his grandfather to place a flag and some flowers. He noticed the lack of flags and flowers on the graves to honor local veterans. He was very upset that veterans were not being honored on this special day.

His parents told him “You can’t complain about something unless you are willing to fix it”. And with that, he decided to do something about it!

That night, Preston set a goal to place a flag and flower on the graves of each of those veterans at his grandfather’s cemetery. Soon after, his goal grew to include other Redding area cemeteries and then cemeteries in all surrounding counties! He began to talk in front of groups to raise money.

He soon came up with the Flag and Flower Challenge to get everyone in the USA to honor veterans. As of October 2018, Preston has organized the placement of more than 180,000 flags and red carnations on veterans graves in 17 states!


Preston was recently honored by the President of the United States for his efforts. His actions show the ability of one young person to help inspire others and change the world. Check out Preston’s inspiring story below and then see what you can do to honor veterans!

Additional Resources:

Topics for Discussion:

  • Why do veterans deserve our respect?
  • What character traits does Preston exhibit?
  • Have you ever taken time to thank a veteran for their service?

Take Action:

  • When you see soldiers, show them your gratitude for their brave service to our country. Say hello to them, thank them and speak with them.
  • Contact Preston to see if you can help him with his efforts.
  • Visit Preston’s GoFundMe page to see how you can help.
  • Another organization that supports veterans is Operation Gratitude. Check out their website to see how you can help.

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.
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