An American flag that holds a tremendous amount of sentimental value was recently stolen from an Iraq war veteran, and he is asking for its return.
The flag can normally be seen flying proudly from Nolan Gomez’s truck, but while he was doing some yard work recently, he placed the flag in a cone along the road.
Gomez ran a quick errand and when he got back, the flag was gone, Fox News reported.
“It’s the ultimate disrespect to any soldier that has served their country,” Gomez told KIRO 7 News.
Someone stole this #Tacoma veteran’s #AmericanFlag. He used to keep it flying out of his truck. Now he says a piece of him is missing. 💔😢
Zoom in & you can see faded spots – blood stains from a friend he lost. The pole is made from a yellow broomstick.
Pls RT! @KIRO7Seattle pic.twitter.com/Ox7MHPPdtF
— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) July 22, 2018
This flag cannot be replaced and was particularly special to Gomez.
It was given to Gomez in Iraq in 2007 by a young boy, but when Gomez’s team was injured by a roadside bomb, he used the flag as a tourniquet on his friend who ended up losing his legs.
The blood of his friend, who eventually took his own life, is on the bottom four stripes of the flag.
The blood on the flag has faded, but Gomez said the stains are still visible.
He said the flagpole is a yellow broom handle with wire around it.
Gomez, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), said: “It’s showing that I have pride in what I’ve done, and I love my country. 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. No matter what I’ve been through, I love my country, and I want everybody to see that,” he said.
Gomez’s neighbor, Kim Phillips, helped him make a sign that begs for the return of the flag.
“I just can’t imagine doing that to someone who has served for our freedom,” she said.
Some of the neighborhood kids gave Gomez a flag that belonged to their uncle after seeing his story.
Gomez said the gesture meant a lot to him.