Couple finds fallen soldier's flag in Hemphill estate sale; give - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Couple finds fallen soldier's flag in Hemphill estate sale; gives it back to Soldier's mother

Marine Lance Corporal Fred Maciel Marine Lance Corporal Fred Maciel
Fred Maciel's Tribute Flag Fred Maciel's Tribute Flag
Fred Maciel's tribute flag Fred Maciel's tribute flag
The mother of a United States Marine killed in action is getting closure from an item found at an East Texas Estate Sale.

Patsy Maciel lost her son in 2005 after his helicopter crashed in Fallujah, Iraq, and after receiving all of his belongings she thought that was the last time she would ever hear of him again.

"I'm very proud of Fred, he died doing what he wanted," Maciel said.

That was until she was contacted by Lanie and Walter Brown, who bought Marine Lance Corporal Fred Maciel's tribute flag for $5 at an estate sale off of Texas 87 and FM 3315 in Hemphill.

“We were like oh my god! Why wasn't this with the man's mother? We need to get it back to her," Lanie Brown said.

The Brown's were able to identify who the flag belonged to from the heartfelt messages that were written on the flag from members of Fred's unit and since the Brown's themselves are parent's of two Marines, they felt it was their duty to make sure the flag finally ended up in the right hands.

“I was so blessed that both my boys came home in one piece and I have a huge responsibility to her and her son to make sure it gets back to her,” Lanie Brown said.

Lanie and Walter were able to contact Patsy over Facebook and scheduled to reunite the two on Saturday at a small ceremony at Fred's grave site in Humble.

"One Marine family to another,” Maciel said.

The owner of the estate sale did not want to go on camera, it's not clear how the flag got there or why it was never given to Maciel's mother, but what we do know that Patsy is glad to be reunited with a small piece of her son.

"It's a piece of my son coming back to me. It feels great and I love them for that,” Maciel said. 

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