BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Veteran organizations in Brownsville are preserving a piece of the Vietnam War. One of the last American flags has now been restored for future generations.
A historic mission remembered in South Texas. Veteran organizations, warriors united in arms, host a dedication ceremony for the ceremonial flag at U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam.
The flag was rescued during a pivotal moment of the Vietnam war, as the American Embassy was being evacuated, now its caretakers are unveiling a new case that will help prolong its life for generations to come.
“As a matter of fact, the communists wanted to destroy it. They tried to burn it, they couldn’t burn it. They tried to rip it, they couldn’t rip it. They shot a few holes into it, but just like the American soldier, it survived,” said Tony Garcia, Founder of Warriors United in Arms.
During the fall of Saigon, American citizens and Vietnamese refugees were extracted from the U.S. embassy in massive operations where thousands were evacuated, including the flag, which will spend the rest of its days in Brownsville Texas.
“The University of Texas wants this. The Smithsonian wants it, but that flag is going to stay with us till our dying days and passed on to the other young veterans who are coming back from the various wars. They will continue to protect this flag through their dying days also,” said Larry Jokl, Warriors United in Arms spokesperson.
The flag had been previously encased in a makeshift case, the group raised $17,000 to properly restore it, and encase it. With the hopes that it may last in the same condition for the next 500 years.
“This is what makes us proud. To have something to be proud of,” said Jesus Ornelas, former flag caretaker.
The group says they were taught to never leave a brother behind, which includes the flag and the freedom it represents.
The group says that despite the offers, they have no intention of selling the flag. Saying the priceless artifact will remain under veteran care.