Letters to the Editor

Theft: Stolen flags meant a lot

Early Sunday morning, Oct. 6, my U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps service flags were stolen from my front porch, where they were displayed on either side of the Stars and Stripes. My U.S. flag was left behind.

I’m guessing whoever stole the other two flags had already “appropriated” our national banner from some other source. I suppose I should be grateful for small favors.

It’s disappointing that in a military town like Oak Harbor, service flags are fair game for theft. I could address this incident on many levels, but since I acquired these flags as a mom, I will respond as such.

I have two sons. This past March, one of them was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. My Marine Corps flag was a gift from him on the occasion of his acceptance into the Corps. Upon his graduation from college in May, my other son was commissioned into the United States Air Force. My Air Force flag was a memento of his first active duty posting. The young men these flags represented obviously mean a great deal to me. The flags flew to honor them and all who serve in our armed forces, especially during these troubled times.

I hope the thief who stole my flags has them prominently displayed somewhere, and that he or she looks at them every day. I want the person who committed this petty and despicable act to know that those pieces of cloth represent the fine traditions of the Marine Corps and Air Force, and the service of two young men who possess a degree of honor, patriotism, commitment, and most of all, character, that he or she has little hope of ever attaining.

My sons earned those flags. They strive every day to serve their country by carrying out their duty and faithfully living the values of the Air Force and the Marine Corps, to which they have pledged fidelity. Because of those values and that fidelity, they are sworn to protect even people who sneak under the cover of darkness to steal the mementos of their service.

My flags will be replaced. They will continue to be my public display of the profound respect and admiration in which I regard my sons and their choice of service. Too bad the mother of the thief, whatever age he or she might be, has no cause to feel the same for her offspring.

Patricia Kuenzi

Oak Harbor

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