LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) - Lincolnton resident and Marine Corps veteran Jim Sitterly said he has been to the VA Health Center in Charlotte three times in the past couple of months for various medical appointments. During each visit something has caught his eye.
Sitterly said the United States flag and North Carolina state flag both appeared to be tattered and slightly torn. He said that each time he saw the torn flags, he would complain to workers at the center but the flags were never replaced.
Upon seeing the torn flag a third time Thursday, Sitterly reached out to WBTV. He said the flags were at half-staff for Pearl Harbor Day, but they were still damaged.
"They lowered those flags to half staff and yet no one was considerate enough to take the torn flags and replace with good flags," said Sitterly.
Sitterly said he served in the Marine Corps and fought in the Vietnam War. The flag is very important to him. He even flies an American flag and a Marine Corps flag outside of his own home in Lincolnton.
"A lot of people gave up big chunks of their life to take care of what the flag represents to this country," said Sitterly.
Marlous Black of the VA Medical Center thanked WBTV for bringing Sitterly's concerns to the VA's attention and said the flags would be replaced Thursday night. However, the American flag still appeared to be torn shortly before 9 p.m. Thursday. The North Carolina state flag looked like it may have been replaced.
"You'd never see something like this happen at a military place," said Sitterly. "If you're not gonna fly a good flag, don't fly a flag."