Las Vegas, NV - A 92-year-old World War II veteran, William Barclay, woke up heartbroken on Wednesday morning after he found the flags that he loved in ashes.
According to KTNV, William Barclay woke up as usual and got up to let his dog outside to go to the bathroom. He immediately noticed that the Navy flag had been burned to ashes, and the United States Flag was in shreds. He also noticed that two American flags that he had flying on his car had been burned to ashes, too.
Mr. Barclay said that he picked up the flag and said "what the heck? what happened to my flag?" William Barclay was drafted into the Navy when he was 18-years-old. During World War II, he was a Signalman. That duty made him responsible for all messages via the United States Flag on his ship, the USS Stockdale. He said that he handled the flag the entire two years that he was there.
His time in the Navy explains his reverence and respect for the flag and why he flies them so high. Barclay cannot understand why someone would burn the flag. He said "What I'm mad about is all I went through with this American flag on my ship and then I come home and put it up and somebody does this to me."
Police said that a group of people set fires in the area of Nellis Blvd. and Wyoming Avenue in the early morning hours on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Barclay received a special visit from the U.S. Navy, who presented him with new flags. Many people from the Las Vegas community also offered assistance, from setting up a donated security system to replacement of his car, which also burned. One man gave him an original 48-star flag from WW II.
Barclay said that he has never been one to ask for help. He said "Every time someone wants to do something for me, I say I can handle that ... but if you want to do it that's OK with me."
Police are continuing the investigation but there are no suspects.
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