A U.S. service member in Alabama is gaining recognition after he performed a simple act of kindness that he didn’t know was being filmed from cameras above.
On June 10, Mobile, Alabama, resident Margaret Dopson posted two surveillance videos. The first shows a man dressed as a pirate tearing an American flag from its pole in downtown Mobile before throwing it to the ground and stomping on it.
So the first video are jackass pirates maybe? Then come along a sweet couple to make things right and their actions filled our hearts.
Minutes later, two people came across the crumpled flag, stopping to fold it the proper way.
“Then come along a sweet couple to make things right and their actions filled our hearts,” Dopson wrote, not knowing who the mystery good Samaritans were.
Last week, WALA-TV revealed that it was Kees Anderson, a 24-year-old U.S. Coast Guard member who works at the guard’s aviation training center in Mobile, who came across the flag while out with his friend, Nikki Thompson.
Anderson proudly wears the flag on his uniform every day, he said, and saw the encounter as another way to serve his country.
“I’m in the Coast Guard – search and rescue. That’s our jam. That’s what we do,” he said. “So…of course, it means a lot to me.”
Thompson, 25, called their encounter with the flag “fate,” given Anderson’s dedication to his country.
“You were born for a moment like this,” she said she told him. “Let’s fold it up.”
Thompson admitted that she had never learned how properly fold the flag before, so Anderson saw it as a teaching moment as well, giving her step-by-step instructions on how it should be done.
Anderson said the flag is a symbol of sacrifice that should be respected.
“That is a symbol of what our country stands for and what these people have literally sacrificed their lives for and done heroic things for – all in the name of that flag,” he said. “And it’s pretty important to me that you show respect.”