Out of a story as horrible as that of flags being stolen from the graves of veterans at three different cemeteries in Bell County over the Memorial Day holiday comes a newer, even better story of Central Texans showing pride in our veterans.

Nobody can wrap their mind around who or why someone would steal flags put out to honor veterans that honored this country with their service.  Hundreds of flags were placed on graves by the Little River-Academy Fire Department.  In the neighborhood of 163 flags were stolen.

It makes no sense.  Crackheads can't smoke it.  Pawn shops won't pay you for them.  The Taliban doesn't have any representatives in Bell County (at least none brazen enough to pull this).  Personally, I blame it on jackassery.

Be it teenagers or just clueless adults, they've lost this round.  When I put out word Tuesday morning that I'd like to see enough flags collected to replace the 163 flags stolen.  That goal was exceeded before noon that day.  I then turned my goal to collecting enough flags so that every veteran grave in Bell County could proudly wave the red, white and blue.

A member of the Little River-Academy Fire Department helps transport the hundreds of flags donated for placement on the graves of Central Texas veterans. Photo by me.

I'm tracking done the numbers on the total number buried, but thanks to the kind donations of Central Texans we've got close to 1,000 flags (and a good amount of money) ready to be placed prior to the 4th of July.  I've also heard from many people over the past several days that are interested in donating their time to help the Little River-Academy Fire Department once it comes time to actually put the flags out.  I'll be announcing on-air and sharing on the website once the dates, times and locations are organized.

Thanks to everyone that donated.  As you can see from the pictures, we had quite a response.  Thanks especially to Donna at Popeye's (190 & Ft Hood St), Krisna at Colonial ERA Real Estate in Harker Heights, Tony at Game X-Change in Temple, Killeen & Copperas Cove, Wes with Heroes Night Out, Tanya at Just Rentals and a very big thanks to Brad Harlow and his wife, Teresa.

Brad called immediately after I talked on-air about the flags being stolen.  Brad volunteered to stand outside Walmart in Killeen Thursday evening to collect flags.  Even after being told he'd have to stay off Walmart grounds, Brad stuck it out.  He stood adjacent to Walmart and collected over 200 flags.  That amount alone would be more than enough to replace every flag stolen.  Brad and Teresa are a big part of the reason this horrible story has turned into an incredible story.