More Than Just Missing Flag – A Stolen Symbol of Semper Fidelis
The American Flag means a lot of different things depending on who you ask. Freedom to some, opportunity to others, safety, protection, pride, but ask Shawn Marceau of White Swan about the flag and you'll get a very personal and specific answer. The American Flag represents service and sacrifice. Shawn's own service to the country as a Marine but more than that, it represents his son Joe Jackson's service and ultimate sacrifice as a 22 year old U.S. Marine Corp Lance Corporal 7 years ago in Afghanistan. 17 others in his unit also died for that flag during a deadly 6 month period of fighting half way around the world.
One of Joe' proudest possession was his American Flag, signed by his Brothers in Arms, which he displayed on the wall over his bunk. It became one of Shawn's proudest possessions when his son Joe was laid to rest in March of 2011.
To hear Shawn tell it, that flag, with the names of the wounded and fallen, was woven with the threads of American heroes, American blood, American dreams. It represent Americana, faith and trust, loyalty and honor and all the small town values that helped shape this Nation from its founding.
It represents America's goodness and the goodness and the courage of his son.
So when that flag was taken from his truck during a smash and grab theft near his home in White Swan in April, well, a big chunk of his heart was ripped off too. He's been searching for the flag ever since.
He's gotten a lot of state, national and local news coverage about it and tens of thousands of responses and support from social media and he hopes that someone will hear about it and will know someone who knows something. He's starting a Go Fund Me page to generate reward money for whoever returns it. He isn't concerned about crime or punishment, just about getting the flag back to the family, a Marine family who knows its true value. He says if it turns up or you find it, take the flag to KIT or to the police or fire department, media outlet or school.
Until then, he'll continue to search - Semper Fi, remember - and he'll continue to use this loss as an opportunity to talk about his greatest loss--and his greatest joy, his best friend and son, Marine Lance Corporal Joe Jackson.