Sanitation Worker Rescues American Flag From Trash

Don Gardner was working his regular sanitation rounds when he came across an American flag that was discarded in the trash. He pulled the flag out of the trash, folded it, then went on his way. Unbeknownst to him, Brooke Cowley was filming the interaction.

Upon seeing Gardner’s act, Cowley said it “filled her with pride.”

Gardner, who is a Marine Corps veteran said, “I just stepped out and took care of it” when he saw the flag in a trash can. “I’ve done it before. I just got caught this time.”

Cowley’s flag was accidentally thrown away after she was cleaning the yard after a wind storm. Cowley said, “I didn’t even realize what I had done,” Cowley said. “I’m actually married to a veteran. … I just had a moment of brain fog.”

She noted that she felt embarrassed knowing she treated the flag so callously. She was proud that Gardner took the time to honor and respect the flag.

The moment was so touching for her family that they wanted to gift something to Gardner. They wound up giving him a challenge coin, which many veterans collect.

Cowley said:

“It’s a moment that we will remember forever. We’re so thankful for his service and what he gave to our family and our community.”

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