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Air Force Veteran Patrol Officer Rescues American Flag Off Side of the Highway

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A Nevada Highway Patrol trooper is going viral after video of him rescuing an American flag off the side of the highway turned the Air Force veteran into a bit of a folk hero.

According to KVVU-TV, Trooper Jason Buratczuk is getting plenty of plaudits after he picked Old Glory up off a busy Las Vegas interstate.

Yet Buratczuk — whose father, grandparents and other family members have served in the military — is surprised at the attention.

“It’s not just a piece of fabric. It’s a symbol of our country. People have bled and died for that,” he said.

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“I was thinking, ‘How could someone let this fall off their car?’”

Yet that seems to be exactly what happened on a stretch of Interstate 15 on Oct. 2.

As dash cam video shows, Buratczuk pulled his cruiser over and picked up the flag, saving it from further desecration on the road.

Do you think people need to be more careful with the American flag?

What the video doesn’t show is the fact that he took the flag to the local American Legion chapter, which — as they’ll do for anyone who has an American flag that needs to be retired — gave it a proper disposal ceremony.

Granted, you shouldn’t be a hero yourself and pick the flag up off the highway; that’s what the police are there for.

The Nevada Highway Patrol used the incident to remind Nevadans that should they spot a flag on the road, they ought to call NHP and they’ll get it for you the safe way — the way that Jason Buratczuk did.

He’s certainly not the first veteran to come to the rescue of Old Glory on video and manage to become a viral hero in the process.

Last November, Mike King, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and FedEx driver, became a social media hero after he picked up a flag that had fallen over due to the weather.

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“Today our flag pole broke with the high winds,” Facebook user Gail Cook wrote at the time.

“The FedEx driver saw this when he was driving by and stopped,” she continued.

“He not only picked up the flag but folded it properly and put it away safely on our porch. Thanks FedEx!!! I hope he gets the recognition he deserves, I can’t thank him enough!”

That’s generally the response a fallen flag invokes among those who have served this country — and the reasons behind it are also why we honor those who’ll pick a flag off the road.

“Maybe we’d be better off if we take a minute and think of what the flag represents, and what it means to people,” Trooper Buratczuk told KVVU.

Well said, and well done.

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