Patriotic Citizens Seek Way to Help Homeless Hero Who Rescued American Flag

An act of patriotism has earned a homeless man national acclaim and potentially a lot of money -- if would-be donors can find a way to send it to him.

Gustus Bozarth of El Paso, Texas, braved driving rain and strong winds to carefully fold an American flag that fell to the ground when a storm knocked down a flagpole.

Bozarth's selfless act was captured on surveillance tape -- and now the video has caught the attention of people all over the country who want to reward him for his patriotism -- and help him get back on his feet.

But nobody knows where or how to send him money.

"We've gotten so many calls from people all over the nation wanting to help," said Rebecca Rorozco, who works for Meti Inc., the federal contractor that owns the flag. "…But at the moment the company's not going to take any monetary donations because we don't want to handle the money right now.

"So we're trying to see if we can set up a fund for him or if any kind of financial institution would want to work with him, because he doesn't have anything: no ID, no identity really."

When Meti employees found the fallen flag, they thought at first that they were dealing with a much different sort of person.

"We came back to work on Monday morning and we saw the flagpole next to our building and the flag tucked underneath the windshield wipers of a Meti truck ... a police report was made because at first we thought that it was vandalism," Rorozco told

But later, when they reviewed the surveillance tape, they saw that it was the storm -- not a person -- that knocked the flagpole down, and that Bozarth had braved the elements to fold the flag military style and tuck it safely under the truck's wiper. He then carried the flagpole away from the street and up to the front of the building.

"When we saw that it was a good Samaritan, we were shocked -- and even more shocked to see that it was a homeless man who had been around the area for quite a while. So we were able to locate him and thank him for the good deed that he did and for helping our flag to be saved," Rorozco said.

But Meti employees weren't the only ones who wanted to thank Bozarth for his good deed.

Social media sites have been flooded with comments expressing gratitude to the homeless man, calling him everything from a patriot to a "true American hero."

"Give him a job, health insurance and a home!" one YouTube viewer posted under the surveillance video.

Someone else set up a "Gustus Bozarth for President" Facebook page.

KFOX-TV says responses from viewers looking to reward Bozarth have poured in since the station broke the story.

"We received a lot of calls, a lot of e-mails of people wanting to donate and asking how they can help this guy," KFOX Assignment Editor Tony Rodriguez told

But so far, Rodriguez said, the station has had no luck finding a place that will manage donations.

"We just put in calls today to several organizations that we know of, so now we're waiting to hear back," Rodriguez said.

Ray Tullius, director of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless in El Paso, says the best route to take is to set up an escrow account that Bozarth can withdraw from. But how soon that can be done will depend largely on how easy it is to get Bozarth a form of identification, which he'll need to set up a bank account.

"That is a real problem with everybody, because, see, we would have to give a check to him in order to make it all above board," Tullius told "As we get money in, we would cash it, and then we would need to have a paper trail to show that we’re not keeping the money. So we would have to give him a check."

It's a challenge, but Tullius says he won't give up trying to help Bozarth.

"I would sure be willing to look at it and work with him and see if there was something we could do," he said. "This is not a lost cause."