Veteran Shares Emotional Connection to American Flag

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COLUMBIA- 32-year-old veteran Bobby Bond lost almost everything in a house fire. One of the only things that survived was an American flag.

A fire destroyed his house on Elizabeth Street Feb. 28. Everyone in the house survived, and so did an American flag.

Bond, 32, served two tours with the Army in Kuwait and Iraq.

He said to be able to get the flag out of the ashes, given what he went through while deployed, means a lot to him.

"Just seeing the colors, to me, is a little different, I think than maybe the average person who hasn't done something like that," Bond said.

He said he could not believe what had happened after the fire. Seeing the flag made things a little better, he added.

"Definitely pulling something out of the wreckage, the ashes, whatever you want to call it, I think that elevates it a little bit, makes it a little more personable," Bond said.

He said the flag is one of the few possessions he has left, but it is one he cherishes.

"That flag in particular, it will now be personal to me," he said. "It'll be one of my favorite things that I still have, not that I have a lot, but it'll definitely be something that I cherish."

Bond said that now every time he sees the flag, he realizes how lucky he is to be alive.

"It's all worth it," he said. "Here we are, we're still alive. Stuff's replaceable, but things like that flag are not. I can go buy another flag, but it's not that flag."

He's now staying with friends while he gets back on his feet. Bond said the support he has received from family and friends has been overwhelming.

"How do I rebuild, how do I go back and focus on school and what I'm doing with the military," he said. "I guess just try and take it one step at a time. For now, at least I have a place to stay."

Now, he is trying to figure out how to move forward with his life. He is a junior at the University of Missouri, majoring in architecture.