Fallen Soldier's Memorial Vandalized In Bethany - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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Fallen Soldier's Memorial Vandalized In Bethany

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Staff Sgt. Jack Martin was killed in an I.E.D explosion in the Philippines in 2009. His mom has flown the American flag in her front yard since he was first deployed to Iraq. Staff Sgt. Jack Martin was killed in an I.E.D explosion in the Philippines in 2009. His mom has flown the American flag in her front yard since he was first deployed to Iraq.
BETHANY, Oklahoma -

Homeowners are outraged after someone stole an American flag from a memorial site set up to remember a fallen soldier.

It happened in a neighborhood near NW 23rd St. and Council Rd. and many who live there were left wondering why anyone would ruin something so important to the family of the fallen soldier.

Staff Sgt. Jack Martin was killed in an I.E.D explosion in the Philippines in 2009. His mom has flown the American flag in her front yard since he was first deployed to Iraq.

"I never would have imagined that he wouldn't come home," said Cheryl Martin.

It was Sept. 29, 2009 when the Martins got a knock on the door. The men in uniform told Cheryl and her husband that their son had been killed.

"Unimaginable. There's no way that you could ever describe, everything seems surreal," recalled Martin. "They hit an I.E.D. and they said that it was so large that when it was done, all they had to do was throw a little dirt on the Humvee."

The powerful blast killed Martin and another member of the Army Special Forces. Staff Sgt. Martin received a bronze star and a purple heart among other accolades. His mom proudly displayed them all and constructed a simple memorial in the front yard as a reminder of her son's ultimate sacrifice.

"He said, if want to go over there and fight to keep your freedom so you can do things here that you want to do."

The memorial consists of a small statue of the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross. Above it stands a flagstaff where the Martins had flown the American Flag, until someone stole it. As word spread through the neighborhood about the theft, neighbors jumped into action. They gathered outside the Martins' house on Saturday morning with a surprise for the Martins. They raised a new flag.

"One of the most important things that if want in my life is that people won't forget that somebody served their country and gave their life for their freedom," said Martin.

Her neighbors said they would not forget Martin's sacrifice. Every time they walk past the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross and flag, they pause to remember the young man who gave his life to protect their freedoms.

At least one other American flag in the neighborhood was recently stolen.

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