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Vandals Steal Flags From Bartlesville Veteran's 'Street Of Honor'

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Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veteran's Day are the holidays that Bob Hunley lives for. Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veteran's Day are the holidays that Bob Hunley lives for.
His sleepy little street has been renamed in the community as the "Street of Honor." His sleepy little street has been renamed in the community as the "Street of Honor."
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -

A Green Country veteran has dedicated his life to honoring servicemen and woman with dozens of flags. Three times a year his street is transformed into an avenue of flags. But this week, seven of his patriotic symbols were stolen by vandals.

Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Veteran's Day are the holidays that Bob Hunley lives for.

He's got more than $3,500 invested in his flags, and with the help of friend, it takes an entire day to hang them all, so you can imagine the heartache and anger that followed when part of his tribute was trampled on.

"This is my tribute to our American soldiers," 1st Sgt. Bob Hunley said.

Hunley is one of those true American patriots. A veteran himself, Bob served in the U.S. Army for more than 21 years.

"To me, it was the most wonderful thing that I could have ever done for the country, for my country," Hunley said.

He's been retired now for 23 years, but he's still finding ways to serve his country. His greatest contribution comes lined along his Bartlesville street: proudly flying flags, 180 in all, recognizing every branch of the military, plus police and firefighters.

"I put these flags together for our soldiers. I want them to know that they're not forgotten, and as long as I'm living, they ain't never gonna be forgotten," Hunley said.

His plan is working. His sleepy little street has been renamed in the community as the "Street of Honor."

And each time his fleet of flags are flying, Hunley said visitors flock to the neighborhood, as if it were Christmas.

Hunley said, "We get tons of people on a daily basis, ever since I put them up, say, 'Thank you,' and they say, 'Thank you for your service,' and they say, 'Thank you for remembering.'"

But this week, the street was met by a different kind of visitor. In a two-day span, seven of his flags turned up missing.

He said one neighbor saw someone a block away, driving down the street using the flags to hit mailboxes and even a car.

"It's very cowardly," Hunley said. "When they take these flags out, they don't care about the people that served under them or anything else."

And even with one leg and in a wheelchair, he's not ready to surrender to the vandals, because to Hunley, victory is seeing those flags fly and honoring those who've served.

"When I take these down Friday, I'll look forward to Veteran's Day in November and being able to put them back up. That's what I live for," Hunley said.

Bartlesville police say witnesses reported seeing a newer model silver Ford pickup with the flags inside. Hunley said two flags found in a field have been returned. As for the other flags, he has replaced them. He even said he'll continue growing his fleet as long as he can afford it.

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