Stolen American Flag Returns to Original Home

More than 40 years after its disappearance, stolen American flag reappears at local VFW along with an apology letter.

Members of Truax-Longmire VFW Post 8483 received a typical package in the mail back in October 2012, but the contents inside surprised them all.  The Post receives thousands of U.S. flags each year, mailed from patriotic citizens who desire for their worn out flags to have a proper retirement.

So when a priority mail package showed up from Portsmouth, Virginia, the Veteran volunteers knew exactly what would be inside.  “We retire flags up here all the time,” noted Post member Bruce Squires, “But why would you parcel post a flag to be retired?  That was strange to us.  Why would you spend that kind of money to send an old flag?”

VFW Post 8483
Members of the Truax-Longmire VFW Post 8483 display a stolen flag and apology note sent over 40 years later.

The reason was because the American Flag came with an anonymous apology note stating that the flag had been stolen from Post 8483 sometime in 1970 or 1971.  The author explained that at about 3 a.m. while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, he climbed the Posts’ flag pole and cut the banner loose before fleeing with it.

“I am sending this flag back to its rightful owners,” the letter reads.  “I know it’s taken a long time for me to correct the wrongs I have committed in my life, I’m doing my best, the list is long.”

Post Commander Mike Wenger and the rest of the VFW members were anything but upset.  “Obviously this is a person with a good heart and a guilty conscience.  This was sitting square in his soul and it says something that he never threw the flag away.”

One thing is certain, that there are no hard feelings about the theft followed by such an honorable return.  “We’d all love to meet this person,” Wenger stated.  “By sending this flag back, you’ve told us all you need to about yourself.”

Squires thought the best ending to the story would be to have the anonymous individual help retire the old flag and string up a new one at the Post.  “This person needs to know they are welcome here any time,” invited Squires.

Source:  DeForest Times-Tribune

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