Members of West Sacramento’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8762 are shocked and saddened that their POW flag was stolen Tuesday night, making it the third burglary since August.
Gordon Grewe, a U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam veteran, said the POW flag was stolen from the Drever Street post in August and replaced. Then the POW and American flags were stolen in October.
Tuesday night, both replacements were stolen. Grewe thinks a crowbar or screwdriver was used to break open the flagpole lock box.
“We look up, and no flag,” Grewe said. “It kind of hurts us, in a way, because they should have respect for at least the veterans.”
So far, the thief has not been caught and only one police report has been filed. Grewe said he doesn’t want to waste the Police Department’s time.
The post will be installing a security camera close to the flagpole to prevent future incidents, Grewe said.
Jesse Orta✔, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army, is embarrassed that any American would steal the flags.
The post has been a resource for veterans and community members for nearly 70 years. Board members of the post, including Orta and Grewe, are in the process of slowly maintaining the old building, including repairing and replacing some electrical units.
“We are paying the price for maintaining the history,” Orta said, adding that replacing the flags and the lock box will require fundraising.