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Flag Day and Father's Day — two holidays that are celebrated just days apart — mean a lot to Aaron Alexander this year.
He makes flags for North Bay Industries in Rohnert Park, California, which hires adults with disabilities. Alexander, 24, has a learning disability.
"Personally, this is not a job," Alexander said. "To me this is a career."
That career took him to Washington, where he shared his story with lawmakers this week, telling them about the importance of employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.
"Anything is really possible," he told NBC News. "Everyone deserves a chance at finding a job."
Alexander visited Arlington National Cemetery, where his job came full circle. That's because his flags drape the caskets of military veterans. During his visit to Arlington, he met members of the Old Guard, the team that performs military funeral honors and presents flags to grieving family members.
It was a personal trip for Alexander. His father, a Navy veteran, died suddenly of a heart attack in October.
So Alexander decided to make his father's flag.
It was an emotional experience. He frequently broke down crying. But with support from his co-workers, he was able to finish the heartbreaking project.
"I knew, deep down, he would proud," Alexander said. "He would love it."
An honor guard folded the flag and presented it to Alexander's mother, Rachelle.
"It was really special," she said. "Just that he could do that for his father — it's like the last thing you can do for someone."
Alexander's job didn't just give him a chance to work. It gave him a chance to honor his father.