On Friday, Shawn Marceau posted on Facebook that a memorial flag that once belong to his son Joe was stolen out of his truck some time in April. His son, Joe Jackson, was killed in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan. Every year since, his family has held a memorial celebration, displaying Joe's flag with signatures of all the members of his platoon.
As Marceau and his family prepared for this year's memorial, he couldn't find the flag and remembered he had kept it in his truck, which had been broken into earlier that month. Marceau took to Facebook, asking friends and family to share the post and help find the flag. After the post went viral, more than 40,000 people had joined the search.
The post quickly spread beyond Shawn's friends and family, and many who saw it offered Marceau their condolences on the loss of his son as well as prayers for the quick return of his flag.
The response was overwhelming:
Marceau hopes the flag will show up soon.
It can be anywhere. It can be in a pawn shop, somebody’s Goodwill, any little secondhand store. It could be there right now. We’re just trying to get the word out there.
People were soon sharing and joining the search for Joe's flag all over the country:
Marceau is now trying to raise money to offer an award for the flag.
Anybody who has a connection with the military can understand how important that flag is. It’s our last keepsake with Joe because he had that flag over his bed before he went out on his last patrol.
He hopes his Facebook post will reach as many people as possible and that someone with information will help get it back to him.
He also has a message for whoever took the flag from his truck:
If you happen to have it, just turn it in, no questions asked.