DAVIS (CBS13)- A memorial flag for a fallen hero turned up at an estate sale, and now the man who bought it there is on a mission to find its rightful owner.

Each casing with the flag has meaning – one stands for duty, another for country and one for honor – and that’s exactly what Jon Alder is trying to give to this fallen hero by trying to find a home for the flag.

“They do the 21-gun salute,” Alder said, “Three of them (shells) go with the flag and the rest go to the family to disburse.”

The flag signifies a hero died fighting for our freedom.

It’s for that sacrifice that Jon wants the person behind the flag to get the respect that was earned and well deserved.

“To me it means something and to a lot of other people it means a lot,” he said.

Among the rows of antiques and odd and ends at a Sacramento thrift store, Jon saw the flag in its case, and it’s certainly a lost treasure that tugged at his heart strings.

“It stuck out like a sore thumb,” he said. “It did not belong there. For some reason I just kept thinking about it and I just kept thinking that if it was my father or my mother that served this country, I’d probably have a fit if I knew it was sitting in a thrift store.”

So Jon bought it. The only clue came from the thrift store owner, who said they got it at a Sacramento area estate sale last month.

“If you look in there, there’s a Ziploc bag with paper in it, so I got all excited when I saw that,” he said.

That paper states the meaning by the flag’s every fold, for the fallen’s death “not to have been in vain and shall never be forgotten.”

Those are values of the Armed Forces that have stood the test of time.

“In my heart I’d really like to see it get back to the family,” Jon said.

Jon’s father served in the Air Force, where he survived a plane crash but lost his fellow airmen, so Jon has a special place in his heart for veterans.

“The odds are stacked against me, but if anyone out there likes detective work and has a soft spot for the flag, then I could use any help I could get,” he said.

Jon says he’ll spend the next six months or so trying to find out who knows anything about this flag. If nothing turns up, he’ll donate it to the VFW so it gets the respect it deserves.


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