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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Purple Heart flag stolen

  • Less than one day after Purple Heart recipients named Pulaski as the First Purple Heart County in Missouri, the flag they dedicated to the County was stolen from the front of the Courthouse.
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  • Less than one day after Purple Heart recipients named Pulaski as the First Purple Heart County in Missouri, the flag they dedicated to the County was stolen from the front of the Courthouse.
    Today, citizens like Presiding Commissioner Newkirk sit puzzled wondering who would have done such a thing.
    "I'm just so mad," he said. "I just can't understand why some coward would want a Purple Heart flag," Newkirk said, shaking his head at the floor. "Less than one percent of people in the military get a Purple Heart. They stole one of the three Purple Heart flags within a 100-mile radius."
    John Dismer, a Purple Heart recipient who helped dedicate the flag to the county, said stealing the Purple Heart Flag is like "stealing a marker off a grave."
    "Why would you steal a Purple Heart flag for crying out loud?" he said. "The only way to get a Purple Heart is to be wounded in combat. The flag itself is just a piece of materiel but what it represents is an honor."
    "It's a despicable act," Dismer said.
    The County has security cameras on both sides of the building, but Newkirk said he didn't think either of the security cameras would reach the flag pole where it was stolen from. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Sheriff's Department was investigating the case.
    So far, few clues have been released. It happened between 5:30 p.m. Monday and 6 a.m. Tuesday.The State of Missouri flag is also missing from the front of the Courthouse.
    Newkirk said the County hasn't had an issue with people stealing flags in the past.
    If you have any information on the location of the Purple Heart flag, please contact the Sheriff's Department at (573) 774-6196.

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