Tacoma, Washington – Iraq Army Veteran Nolan Gomez used to display his American flag proudly from a yellow pole in the back of his pickup. But when he went to work back in June, the flag was gone when he returned to his vehicle. And it wasn’t an ordinary flag. It meant a great deal to him…and to the person whose blood forever stains the last four stripes of Old Glory.
Blue Lives Matter reported that Gomez used that flag as a tourniquet when a friend of his was wounded during a deployment. It literally holds the blood, sweat, and tears of friendship. His friend is now deceased, but the flag holds much meaning for this veteran. That’s why he wants it back.
“It brings tears to my eyes to see it, but it was a good feeling like that flag was part of him, he is on that flag.” Nolan Gomez
Nolan also has a tattoo on his neck as another remembrance of his friend. But it’s the flag that means even more. He and his friend served together in the military from 2006-2oo9.
“It was mine, I earned it, it was my title, I woke up and I was happy with that flag. I think they’re a coward honestly. They’re a coward. Anybody that sees that flag, they know there is some kind of history behind it or what we do as Americans to fight for the flag…It was an act of, I think pure evil. It really was.” Nolan to KOMO
Gomez has posted a sign requesting that it be returned. The community is highly upset that this flag was stolen. One group of neighborhood youth brought him a new flag, and though he is grateful for their kindness, he really just wants his special flag back.
“Not understanding that the man behind that flag really cherished that flag. It meant a lot to him.” Nolan Gomez
Earlier this year, another sentimental flag was stolen from Sean Marceau, but was left folded on his son’s grave a few weeks later.
We hope whoever stole this one will recognize its importance to this veteran and return it.
Featured photo: screenshot via KOMO