An Iraq war veteran is asking for the return of an American flag that was recently stolen from him that he says has sentimental value.
Nolan Gomez said he usually flies the flag from his truck but took it off when he was doing some yard work. He placed it in a cone along the road, ran an errand and discovered it was gone when he came back.
“It’s the ultimate disrespect to any soldier that has served their country,” Gomez told KIRO-TV.
The flag was particularly special to Gomez, who told news stations that it was given to him by a boy in Iraq in 2007. Later, after a roadside bomb injured his team, he said he used the flag as a tourniquet on his friend who ended up losing his legs.
That friend eventually died by suicide. The flag, Gomez said, has his friend’s blood on the bottom four stripes.
“It’s showing that I have pride in what I’ve done, and I love my country,” Gomez, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, told KIRO. “No matter what I’ve been through, I love my country, and I want everybody to see that.”
“I just pray that whoever has that flag can find it in them as a human – and as a God-fearing American – to turn it back in,” he said.
“No matter what I’ve been through, I love my country, and I want everybody to see that.”
Neighbor Kim Phillips helped make a sign that pleads for the return of the sign.
“I just can’t imagine doing that to someone who has served for our freedom,” Phillips told KOMO-TV.
A few neighborhood kids who saw Gomez’s story gave him a flag that belonged to their uncle. Gomez said the gesture meant a lot to him.
While the blood on the flag has faded, Gomez said the stains are still visible. He also said the flagpole is a yellow broom handle with wire around it.