Charlotte firefighters replace stolen flag for military family

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This is the time of year when fire crews are out checking the hundreds of fire hydrants in each of their coverage areas, to make sure they work.

The men and women of Engine 24/Ladder 24 were out doing just that when they noticed a sign on one lawn.

"It said someone had stolen a family's USMC flag from their yard and right away we all looked at each other and had the same idea," said firefighter Andrew Crouse.

Mark Whitten is a veteran.  He and his wife Sara now have two children serving overseas.  One in the Navy, the other in the Marines.

"Five of the 10 guys at this station are in guard units.  One deployed last week and one will be deployed in two months, so we know how important those flags are to families," added Captain Mike Clumpner.

Immediately the guys bought the Whitten family a new Marine Corp flag and delivered it to the family.

"They all got out of their trucks and it seemed like there were 50 of them.  There were probably only 10 though.  They handed me the flag and I really don't remember anything after that because I was crying and hugging them," Sara Whitten said.

Now there is a new sign in the yard, which thanks the firefighters at 24 for what they did.  There is also a brand new flag flying proudly from the porch for everyone to see.

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