An American flag creates a bond between men hundreds of miles apart.
In Albany, Georgia, a local business owner who fought to save his flag back in March now flies a different flag at half-staff. Tom Gieryic, owner of Gieryic’s Dawson Road Automotive Repair, was cited for a code violation for having his flag on a plastic pole, received a written ticket. Gieryic received a ton of support from other local business people and several others around the country.
Soon after his story made national news, Sergeant First Class Riley Stephens of Texas sent him a one-of-a-kind war torn flag from Afghanistan as a way of saying thanks for taking a stand and backing the troops that fight for this country. Sadly, Stephens was recently killed in battle. Gieryic honored the man as soon as he heard the news by flying his flag at half-staff. The two men never met face-to-face but Gieryic says they still had a unique bond.
Gieryic received national support from Stephens after he found out about the issues officials had with his flag outside his business. Code enforcement personnel originally cited the flag as violating sign ordinance and encroachment on a right of way. However, the charges were then dropped to a warning.
The American flag Sergeant Stephens sent over was given to him for heroic actions and was a memento he kept quite close to his heart. Now, that flag is proudly waving in his honor. His body is being transported back to his hometown in Texas where a funeral will be held that Gieryic hopes to attend.