THIEVES have returned a Vietnam veteran’s bullet-holed Australian flag after an appeal that went viral on Facebook.
The retired Special Air Service Major, who served as a platoon commander in Vietnam from 1965 to 1969, posted a heartwrenching plea outside his Hawthorne home last month offering a reward for the flag’s return after it went missing, along with keys and a bottle of alcohol.
However after a friend posted the plea for the flag’s return on Facebook, the flag turned up at the man’s home on December 27.
The veteran, who asked not to be identified, said he never expected to see the flag again and was “over the moon” it had been returned.
“I’m ecstatic I got it back,” he said.
“It is of sentimental value. I don’t know who gave it back. It just appeared on the front driveway with no message, nothing, folded and just thrown over the fence.
“They were either shamed into returning it or mum and dad found it in their bedroom or something like that, but it obviously would appear to be locals.”
He said they also had house keys, car keys and a bottle of alcohol stolen in what appeared to be a brief raid by opportunist thieves.
“It was a random entry. They snuck in the garage and snuck out in about two minutes,” he said.
He thanked the community for their support and said he would be keeping the flag in a safe place from now on.
The appeal for the flag’s return went viral on Facebook with about 40,000 shares.
The post was met with an outpouring of support for the veteran and angry calls for the thieves to “do the right thing and return the flag”.