The American flag is a symbol of freedom, but an Abilene military veteran came home Tuesday to discover his had been stolen.
Sgt. Matt Walker, a Marine veteran of eight years, was devastated when he discovered his flag had been stolen from his front yard on North 19th Street.
"I've spent a year and a half of my life overseas. So that's pretty much everything," he said.
He served 10 months in Iraq and eight months in Afghanistan.
He wrote this sign to the thieves: "I've almost died for that flag you stole!! What have you done??" He signed it: Sgt. Walker USMC 2x combat vet!
"I fought for that," Walker said through tears.
He tended to the flag every morning before heading to work in the oil field.
Now, all he has to look at is the flag's empty post.
"It's more sentimental to me than anything else. You know, I called the police department and they said: 'Did it cost over $50?' and I said: 'Well I got it in a care package when I was overseas and it flew in Afghanistan. So yes, to me it was worth more than $50.''"
Walker served eight years as a diesel mechanic for the U.S. Marines. He was even stationed at Dyess Air Force Base for a time.
He was honorably discharged in July 2011 and just moved back to his Abilene home where the flag flew for three months.