A fallen Marine’s tribute flag that has been missing for nine years has finally returned home.

Lanie and Walter Brown were at a flea market in Texas when they came across a flag covered in tribute messages to Lance Cpl. Fred Maciel, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2005. He was 20 years old.

The Browns, who are Marine parents, bought the flag for $5 and found Maciel’s mother, Patsy Maciel, on Facebook.


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“When I realized that the boy had been killed, […] that’s when I knew that the flag had to come back,” Walter said.

Saturday, the Browns presented Patsy with the flag at a ceremony.

It’s unclear how the flag ended up at a flea market.