Vandalized flags of military veterans replaced by other veterans

Pride and patriotism are back on display for two military veterans living at an Oceanside retirement community.

Last month, three American flags were vandalized. Surveillance video showed the vandals spray painting vulgarities on the flags — one of them belonging to 91-year-old World War II Virgil Hardin.

“There’s a lot of people who gave their lives for that flag,” Hardin told 10News earlier this week.

On Thursday, 10News reporter Michael Chen brought the story to Jack Harkins, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel who is now with the United Veterans Council in San Diego.

“I admit it made me angry,” Hardin said.

On Friday, Harkins and fellow United Veterans Council member Rick Nathanson went to the retirement community bearing gifts — replacement flags for the ones that were damaged.

“It means a great deal; I mean, the flags stand for everything this country means,” said Michael Rank, an Army veteran whose flag was also vandalized.

The surveillance footage of the vandalism is now in the hands of the Oceanside Police Department.

As for replacing the flags, “This was just the right thing to do, supporting one another,” said Nathanson.


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