A good deed gets a man back something he thought he had lost forever.
A lot was lost during Ian, so when North Collier Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Morse saw the chance to help someone, he jumped at it.
Edward Hill fought in Vietnam. He lost two American flags because of Ian but they were found covered in mud.
The flags mean a great deal to him.
Hill thought nothing could be done to restore them, but he was happily mistaken.
“I fought for this flag and this flag. Oh, all of them. Yes. And I’m proud of our country and our flags,” said Hill, an Army veteran.
One of the flags flew over the U.S. Capitol in honor of his two bronze stars. The other was draped over his father’s casket. His father fought in WWII.
“They mean the world to me,” Hill said.
Hill said it was a miracle to find the flags after Ian washed them away,
“They were just kind of buried in the muck and debris,” he said.
Because of the shape the flags were in, he asked Noth Collier Fire Rescue to dispose of them properly, but Morese had the idea to restore the flags to their glory.
“We couldn’t do enough for those. So when we had this opportunity, when I went back to the fire compound, not only do we get the laundry service involved, but that’s why when you see in the video, you saw everybody wanted to come back, everybody wanted to be a part of it,” Morse said.
They all got together to return the flags to Hill.
While much of Fort Myers Beach is still in recovery mode and will be for a long time, there are American flags, including Hill’s, flying proudly.
Hill feels hope when he sees them.
“There’s a symbol of our country in our freedom and everything that I believe in,” Hill said. “With these restored to me, I have faith that everything else will come out on top.”