Tribute flag presented to Marine's mother after being lost for 9 years

CNN NEWS/KHOU
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Monday, July 28, 2014 - 4:01pm

When Lance Corporal Fred Maciel died in 2005 in Iraq, his fellow Marines signed a flag that was supposed to be given to his family, but somehow it got lost. However, thanks to a Texas couple more than nine years later the flag finally made it home, Tim Wetzel has more.

The mother wasn't expecting a ceremony.

"Present arms."

Patsy Maciel, Mother, "Oh wow."

She wasn't expecting, a salute from dozens of strangers, "They're here for my son, look at them."

And up until recently, wasn't expecting to get something like this, "Oh my God, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, oh God."

9 and half years after her son's death in Fallujah, Iraq, this flag. His flag finally made it home, on it, are heartfelt messages written by Lance Corporal Fred Maciel's fellow Marines. The tribute was meant to go to his family, but somehow it got lost.

Walter Brown, Found Flag, "He was a fallen hero."

Lost, until Walter Brown found it at a flea market in Hemphill, "The lady just said, "It's 5 dollars." She said it has been written on you know that, I said that's okay, I'll go ahead and buy it."

With his own son a Marine, Brown read the messages and knew he ad to get it home, "It's a lot deeper than just putting it in the mailbox and shipping it over. It had to be hand delivered."

The Brown family tracked down Patsy Maciel and his wife personally put the flag into her arms Patsy Maciel, "I got peace in my heart, you know I'm happy. This is all for my son, nobody forgot my son."

Two families brought together, Walter Brown, "This is a once in a lifetime event for all of us."

By a chance find, Patsy Maciel, "I got a piece of my son back."

That nobody expected, so where was that flag all this time?

Nobody knows, the flea market where they found it, buys items from abandoned mini-storage units.

They're thinking it might have ended up forgotten in one of those units.

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