Photos courtesy of WIAT 42 News
Some Alabama officers went above and beyond the call of duty for an elderly man after his American flag was vandalized.
Thomas Feltman told WIAT 42 News on Sunday he looked out the window of his Alabaster home and saw his flag in tatters.
“It’s not just a piece of cloth. It means everything to me,” Feltman told WIAT reporter Mike McClanahan.
The 84-year-old said the flag was hanging almost like a wet towel with the top part torn lose. That’s when he called the Alabaster Police Department and said the responding officer, John St. Pierre, was very upset.
Alabaster City Manager Georgia Henry said Officer St. Pierre met with other A-shift officers and they wanted to do something for Feltman. Cpl. Milligan, Officer Harrelson, Officer Sharpe, Officer Josh White, Officer St. Pierre, Officer Mc Murray, Officer Summerall and Officer Hanns all chipped in to purchase him a new flag.
The officers showed up to Feltman’s home to not only present the new flag to him, but also to thank him for his service.
“I broke down. I couldn’t contain it. When they walked up with that flag and I had one hand over my mouth and one hand on the flag just softly rubbing it. It was still folded up,” Feltman said. “And I felt like I shouldn’t even touch it. And if I did, just barely touch it. Didn’t want, didn’t want to do any harm to it.”
Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney found out about the kind gesture through Feltman’s family members. The officers involved didn’t mention one word to their chief.
“If they had not said something, his family, Mr. Feltman’s family had not said anything about it, we would have never known. They would have never said anything about it. And that’s just a tribute to what kind of guys they are,” Rigney said to WIAT 42 News.
Feltman, who proudly flies the new flag over his yard, said he’s grateful to the officers. He also said he isn’t losing any sleep at night over whoever is responsible for damaging his other flag.
“I hope they sleep well at night, but I don’t think they will.”
Feltman's granddaughter, Rachel Ross Blackwood, shared several photos on Facebook of the officers helping her grandfather replacing the flag.
"Thank you so much Alabaster Police Department!!!" she said.