On the 6th day of June, 2006, Air Force Fighter Pilot Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney boarded a commercial flight from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The way he tells it, that was the night his life would change forever. Making his way down the aisle in search of his seat, Rooney couldn’t help but notice a young Corporal sitting in first class in a full Army service uniform, or “dress greens.” That uniform is typically worn in situations where a civilian would be expected to wear a business suit, so the scene stood out as Rooney passed by.
After the plane landed, a voice came over the speakers. It was the flight’s Captain, and he announced that there was an American hero on board. Rooney immediately thought of the young man he’d seen earlier. That must be the person the Captain is talking about. It wasn’t. The Captain went on to inform the passengers that just below them were the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin. The young man that Rooney passed when he had gotten on the plane was his identical twin brother, Corporal Brad Bucklin. Brad had dutifully accompanied his brother for all 7,000 miles of their journey home.
Outside the windows of the plane stood the entire Bucklin family, including Jacob, Brock’s 4-year-old son. Realizing that boy would never again be tucked in by his father, Rooney was shaken. Within months, he would establish Folds of Honor with the mission of providing life-changing scholarships to families of America’s fallen or disabled military members and first responders. Since its inception, Folds of Honor has awarded 44,000 education scholarships. Of those, 41% have been awarded to minority recipients. An almost unheard of 91% of all funds donated go directly to funding scholarships.
The Privada Regional Group, Winner’s Circle, recently rallied around a shared vision of releasing cigars that would benefit different charitable organizations. One of the team member’s spouses had previously lost her husband, a United States Marine, while he was serving. She and her children were introduced to Folds of Honor and she now shares her family’s story and speaks on behalf of those who truly understand what it is to give the last full measure of devotion. Inspired by their friend’s experiences and Rooney’s mission, the group has released The Folds of Honor microbatch. As a unit, the Winner’s Circle crew members couldn’t be more grateful for the work that Folds of Honor does every day. As everyday people, they are honored to be able to make even the smallest impact on the lives of others. As will be case with each of the cigars in this series, 25% of the profit earned by the Folds of Honor cigar will go directly to the charitable organization.