Local News

Fuquay family gets special replacement for flag stolen on July 4

Posted August 9

— Jake Vogt left his home July 4th, proudly flying a special flag that had been given to his family by a close friend.

The flag had flown in Kandahar, Afghanistan, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it served as a reminder for the Vogt family of patriotism and sacrifice.

The Vogt family flew the flag outside their Fuquay-Varina home every Independence Day since then, but this year, Jake wanted to put it on his truck to display as he went through town. When he came back to the truck after watching the local fireworks display, however, it was gone.

"The next thing I knew, he called me and said someone had stolen it," Jake's mother, Cathy Vogt, said Wednesday.

"You're thinking about the occasion [July 4] and what it means to America, and then you have that happen," said Jake's father, Stu Vogt, expressing disappointment and anger over the theft.

Cathy Vogt posted about the stolen flag on Facebook.

"You have a special flag," the post read, in part. "Take good care of it, or better yet, please return it."

In Kuwait, Army Col. Richard Brown saw the post. He attends the same church as the Vogts, and the family helped his wife and children over the last nine months while he was deployed.

"I think we could do better than that, especially on the Fourth of July," Brown said, recalling his reaction to the post.

So, he set aside a flag he’d flown at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on July 4, and on Wednesday, back in the U.S., he surprised the family with it.

"I appreciate that you were trying to do the right thing on the Fourth of July," he told Jake. "I think it’s a great thing, and I’m proud of you."

"I’ve known him for quite a while, and I know he’s been gone for quite a while," Jake said. "I think it means more to me coming from him than anything."

The Vogts didn’t waste any time raising the flag. Each time they see it, they said, they will pause to honor the good in life.

"(We'll) think of Rich and our other friend who had brought the other flag and anybody else who serves," Cathy Vogt said.

"Jake did a nice thing, something bad happened to him, and I was happy to be able to say thank you back," Brown said.

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