Local News

Through Facebook, flag is found and returned to veteran

Posted November 11, 2019 4:43 p.m. EST
Updated November 11, 2019 6:01 p.m. EST

— A veteran’s American flag was lost over the weekend but was found through a Facebook post.

Thomas Blea had a flag he flew in Iraq during the Gulf War fly off the back of his motorcycle Saturday after the Fayetteville Veterans Day Parade. But thanks to social media, the flag is back in Blea's hands.

It started with a motorcycle ride.

Thomas Blea was on his motorcycle in the Veterans Day Parade and the American flag was on the back. Blea says he put it there to honor his father who died in 1982 after four combat tours of duty.

He purchased the flag in 2007 from the PX while serving in Iraq. After the parade, Blea didn't notice the flag fell off his bike.

Douglas Stone found it and based on the writing on it knew it belonged to a veteran.

Stone posted a picture of the flag on his Facebook page.

Fifteen thousand shares later, Stone learned that the flag belonged to Blea. On Monday, the men met.

“I was elated to find out 24 hours later through my pastor’s wife that she had seen the post on Facebook about it,” Blea said. “Initially I thought it was gone to history.”

These two veterans are now connected for life.

Stone was a paratrooper. He served in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

After finding the flag, he said he had a dream that the flag was on the back of someone's motorcycle.

And this is what Veterans Day is all about.

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