Veteran steps up after flag is stolen from Seattle man

SEATTLE -- A West Seattle father is heartbroken after his cherished American flag was stolen on the Fourth of July.

For Duff Kennedy, the veteran's flag carries agonizing memories because it was once draped over his son's casket.

Kennedy came home after watching fireworks on the fourth to find someone had stolen the flag.

"We just couldn't believe it that someone would take a flag, any flag for that matter," he said.

Kennedy displayed the flag every independence Day and Memorial Day to honor in his son, who died in 1972.

"He was over in Vietnam in an area that sprayed agent orange, and that's what developed the problems for him," Kennedy said.

Two days after the flag was stolen, Kennedy got a surprise visitor at his house.

"This is the flag that the young man, David from UPS, brought me," he said.

David Salter is a Gulf War veteran who read about the stolen flag and felt compelled to do something.

"I thought about it all day and wanted to do something, and I remembered my flag," Salter said.

It's a flag Salter's dad gave him after his deployment.

"This is something that's very serious to me, being a veteran, being named after my dad's best friend who was killed in Vietnam a few weeks before I was born," Salter said.

Salter's flag is a bit smaller than Kennedy's, but the significance is huge.

"It's not just a decoration," Salter said. "It's a symbol of somebody's life and a symbol of what they stood for. It needs to be returned."

Kennedy plans to honor his son by flying the new flag, and Salter plans to pay his respects when he drives his UPS route.

"It'll be incredibly emotional," Salter said. "I think the only thing I will see other than that flag is those two individuals who served our country."

Several other people who are upset about the theft have taken up a collection to offer a reward for its safe return, no questions asked.