Ohio firefighters attempting to save a Vietnam veteran’s home were unable to save the flame-engulfed structure, but managed to save the US flag that once flew from it.
When the building appeared that it would collapse, veteran and firefighter Allen Skomer rushed forward to save the flag.
“I was helping one of the rookies throw a stream in between those two structures, to keep that second structure from burning,” Skomer said. “That’s when I noticed the colors waving with the flames behind them.”
One neighbor reported that the homeowner was quite fond of the flag, having only recently replaced a worn one with the new banner.
“That was a brand-new flag. He took the old one down and took it back and they gave him a brand new one,” neighbor Christy Depp said.
For Skomer, it was only a matter of duty.
“I didn’t want to let it burn, so I went and grabbed it. I’m an eight-year veteran of the Navy. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction. I didn’t want to see the colors go up,” he said. “I would never knowingly let the flag go up in smoke or be desecrated in front of me if I can help it.”
According to WTOL11, Toledo Fire Department spokesman Sterling Rahe praised Skomer for his actions.
“Patriotism is something that I think is overlooked these days. That flag is the core symbol of our citizenship and we should be thankful for the freedom and what that flag represents,” Rahe said. “It’s a proud moment. Respect for the flag runs deep within our department. It’s a great moment for Al to take be able to respect the flag and do what he did. What you saw in that video is who he is.”