California Army Veteran: Flag a Sign of Hope After Camp Fire Devastation

Chase Bowden is a California Army Veteran. He and his wife Kimberly moved to the small California town of Magalia near Paradise in 2009. But when the Camp Fire broke out last Thursday and destroyed their town, they had to evacuate with family, leaving everything behind. Only one thing remained of their home: the American flag that he had placed on the tree house he made for his children.

“We made the decision we just had to get out of there. We started driving through people’s yards, driving the wrong way on the street…whatever it took to get out of there.” Chase Bowden

Within hours, the entire town was destroyed. The Bowden’s home was not spared.

Screenshot of what’s left of the Bowden home in Magalia

A few days later, a first responder friend of Chase sent him a picture: the only thing left standing was his American flag, hanging from a tree house he built for his children.

“I decided to hang the flag in it — being a veteran, it meant a lot to me to have that in there for them.  I can tell you that that flag will be in our family for the rest of our lives.” Chase Bowden to CBS news

Chase, his wife Kimberly, and their two sons all survived the fire. They are currently staying in a 3 bedroom home with several other families. They won’t be able to return to the place where their home once stood for about three more weeks.

Chase is a combat veteran, and told Fox News Insider that the whole scene was like a war zone. But he found hope in the American flag still untouched, hope for the rebuilding not only of their home, but their town. We hope so too…and as a symbol of hope for America as well.


There are thousands of people displaced by this fire and all can use help. Bowden’s friends and family have shared a GoFundMe page to help with expenses as the family rebuilds.