A flag that once belonged to Lance Cpl. Fred Maciel, who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq more than nine years ago, is unveiled July 26 at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Humble, Texas. Lanie and Walter Brown bought the flag for $5 after finding it tucked away in the corner of a flea market in Hemphill, about 170 miles from Houston. (Karen Warren / AP)
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HUMBLE, TEXAS — A couple who discovered a tribute flag for a fallen Marine at a Texas flea market has presented it to his mother, more than nine years after he was killed in Iraq.
Lanie and Walter Brown gave the flag Saturday to Patsy Maciel before a small crowd gathered at the grave of Lance Cpl. Fred Maciel in the northern Houston suburb of Humble.
The Browns bought the flag for $5 after finding it tucked away earlier this month in the corner of a flea market in Hemphill, about 170 miles from Houston. The flag has about two dozen messages written by other marines for Maciel, who was 20 when he died in a helicopter crash.
Patsy Maciel didn’t know of the flag’s existence until contacted by the Browns on Facebook.