Vandals burn all four flags on 92-year-old WWII veteran’s property

William Barclay was just 18 years old when he was drafted into the Navy during WWII. Today, the 92 year-old Veteran is cleaning up the ashes from three burned American flags and one Navy flag.

Barclay tells KTNV Las Vegas he woke up Wednesday morning and went outside to let his dog do his business, and that’s when he noticed his U.S. Navy flag was burned to ashes and one of his American flags was in shreds. He also noticed the two American flags he proudly displays on his car were also burnt to ashes.

He told KTNV, “I picked up the flag like this and I said what the heck. What happened to my flag?”

During his service in the Navy aboard the USS Stockdale, an Edsall class Destroyer Escort, Barclay’s trust as a signalman meant he was responsible for all messages sent via the American flag on his ship.

His pride in America and love for the flag comes from the time he spent serving in the Greatest Generation, and he doesn’t understand why his flags were destroyed.

“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. This used to be a good neighborhood, I think it’s gone to hell now.”

According to the KTNV story, Barclay isn’t the only victim in the neighborhood. Police told Barclay a group of people set multiple fires in the area near Nellis Boulevard and Wyoming Avenue in the early morning hours Wednesday.

“I handled the flag the whole three years I was there,” Barclay said, and he tells the reporter he hopes those responsible get caught.

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  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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