Local Vietnam vet pleading for return of stolen flag

EATONVILLE, Wash. -- A burglary that happened almost two months ago near Eatonville is just starting to really hit home for a Vietnam vet who lost something that can't be replaced.

We mark the important things in our live -- good and bad -- with mementos and souvenirs. They're the things that can't be replaced, that money can't buy.

Jim Blaine knows all about things that can't be replaced, and he's making one last ditch effort to get something back that's been taken from him.

"Somebody just come in, somebody that doesn't care, has no remorse, has no feelings, is disrespectful," Blaine said.

Blaine said burglars kicked down his door and stole six pistols from his bedroom.

"The gun case was secured to the wall right there," he said. "They just pulled it off the wall."

But the thieves stole something else, something worth more than money.

"Pictures of me and pictures of the VC flag that was in the gun case," Blaine said.

In Vietnam in 1966, Blaine snapped photos as he and his unit walked across a bridge. On the other side, in the distance, he saw a Viet Cong flag.

"I saw that flag hoisted up in the air on a flag pole, and it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck," he said.

In the battle that ensued, Blaine himself captured the flag. It meant something to him then, and it still does. He posed with it, brought it home and kept it in a sack in his gun locker.

The burglars not only took the flag, but they also got a glass horse that Blaine's mother-in-law gave to his wife nearly 50 years ago.

Those are the things he wants back.

"If those items could just be put in a sack and thrown over the fence, back onto my property, no questions asked," he said.

The flag isn't worth much to anyone else, but for Blaine it's priceless. He is, after all, the man who went and took it.

The Pierce County sheriff's department is working on the case, but Blaine hopes the thieves will see this story and feel compelled to return the items, no questions asked.