Volunteer firefighters help raise money for Larry “The Flagman” Eckhardt to pay for cancer treatment

MONMOUTH, Illinois-- Larry Eckhardt is more than a guy who owns a lot of American flags, to his community, he is much more.

Eckhardt, also known as The Flagman, has placed almost 500,000 American flags in 14 states for fallen soldiers, police officers and firefighters.

But volunteers from Little York and Kirkwood, Illinois returned the favor, Friday, March 23, to help the Flagman in the fight for his life.

“He’s helped a lot of people outside his community and that can’t be discounted….we want to help with what we can,” says Little York Volunteer Firefighter, Jeff Ballard.

Eckhardt was diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in January, it has now moved into his voice box and trachea.

The volunteers placed about 200 flags, to set the tone for this weekend’s fundraiser to help the Flagman pay for treatment.

“It’s overwhelming, it really is…When you live in a country when people are willing to come out no matter how cold, or how miserable to say thanks to somebody, that tells you how great this country is,” says the Flagman.

The fundraiser will include an auction and a bake sale, at the Knights of Columbus in Monmouth, Illinois at 4 p.m.

So far, the group has raised about $1,000 through their GoFundMe page and check donations.