ODESSA, TX (KWES/CNN) – A veteran’s flag that was supposed to be used as a funeral drape in North Carolina never made it.
It had been missing for 26 years.
But it turns out, it was found in a Goodwill in Odessa, Texas.
Kim Powell spoke with the woman who found the flag and tracked down the family it belongs to.
Paula Roberts was shopping at the Goodwill in Odessa with her daughter when she found an old veterans flag on the back shelf gathering dust. It had a curling strip of masking tape that read “Charlie Gaston, funeral drape” and a price tag of nine dollars and ninety-nine cents.
“For us, we know what the flag means. We know that it’s a sign of somebody in the military that they’ve died and the sacrifices that they’ve given,” Roberts said.
And with enough determination, Roberts got to work to track down who the flag belonged to.
“I called every place you can even imagine,” Roberts said.
One thing lead to another, and another, she discovered that Charlie Gaston served in World War II and graduated from Texas A&M in 1928.
“But how the flag ended up in this Odessa Goodwill on 42nd is a mystery,” Roberts said.
Eventually she found his adopted son Georg all the way in North Carolina.
“So they were excited to know that the flag existed. They never knew it existed,” Roberts said.
It turns out Charlie the flag never made it to Gaston’s funeral in Hondo, Texas back in 1988. It had been ordered and shipped, but no one had heard anything about it since.
Georg is now in his seventies and battling MS and being taken care of by his sister in law.
“She said when he found out about the flag that he smiled and that it had been the first time he’s been happy in a long time,” Roberts said.
It just goes to show with enough determination, and good Internet connection, anything can be found.
“I was bound and determined to find his home so, and we found it, so we’re good now,” Roberts said.