• Marine Corps flag theft 'disrespectful to all military members,' vet says

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    GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - A 72-year-old Gaston County veteran is upset after he said someone stole his Marine Corps flag from his front yard in the middle of the night last week.

    Ace Beam said the theft is disrespectful to all military members, and he plans to fight back.

    The veteran has strong words for the person who stole his flag.

    “You know, they say you get a slap on the wrist. He deserves a slap upside the head,” Beam said.

    Beam has several military flags outside of his Gastonia home.

    Beam joined the Marine Corps when he was 17 years old, and has a lot of pride in the military -- not just because of his service, but because of those who have served and are serving in the military.

    “We're still there. They're still fighting. Somebody may get killed today,” Beam said.

    Beam said the person who stole his flag doesn't understand the symbolism behind it, and clearly doesn't respect it.

    “That's what got me. What kind of person would do this?” Beam said.

    When Beam realized his flag was gone, he said he thought of all those who died in honor of the Marine Corps flag, and then he called the police.

    “They came out here and they tried to get fingerprints,” Beam said.

    Not only is the theft not keeping Beam from displaying his patriotism, he's adding more flagpoles, for a total of eight, to his yard.

    “I'm going to make it look just as good as I can,” Beam said.

    In 2016, strangers helped Beam rebuild his home after a fire destroyed it.

    The community rallied around the veteran and raised nearly $50,000.

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