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Flags taken from Field of Honor

May 24, 2011 at 12:24 a.m.


Standing on the Field of Honor next to Faith Family Church, Col. Mike Petrash couldn't believe what he was seeing. Flags were missing from the field. In a little over a week, more than 10 flags have disappeared.

"It's like your family has been violated. It's not so much anger I'm feeling; it's disgust," Petrash said.

The Field of Honor is a field of more than 2,100 flags, each flag bought for $40 in honor of a soldier. The proceeds from sale of the flags helps fund the Warrior's Weekend, a weekend of fishing and appreciation for wounded soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Petrash organizes the Field of Honor, and aside from trash and debris that collect at the site, they have never had a problem with vandalism since they started setting up the field in 2007.

"These people don't have a clue what this means. Each of those flags is for a veteran, and this is a disrespect to the veterans themselves," he said. "I don't know what is wrong with people."

Petrash replaced each flag after he discovered they were missing. Families and friends paid for the flags to honor specific people, so any missing flags have been immediately replaced.

Petrash and his fellow volunteers are keeping a closer watch on the site, he said. While no formal complaint has been filed, he said he spoke to a police officer about watching for possible vandals. The main thing he's hoping for is that the people taking the flags will learn what stealing from the Field of Honor really means.

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