(Billy Hallowell) Tragedy struck Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday, with death, injury and destruction running rampant. While pain and suffering have abounded, some symbols of hope are emerging throughout the devastated area. Consider an American flag that is boldly displayed among the debris — an emblem with a unique history and the power to remind those who see it of the power and courage of the American spirit.
Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Troy Gamble has taken the flag with him around the globe. Considering his past deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, it has seen some of the world’s most war-torn localities. Since the flag has served as a symbol of hope during periods of past “chaos and mayhem,” the former military officer, once again, decided to hang it.
“Everywhere I go, I’ll take it and I would hang it up somewhere,” he told Fox News, noting that, in addition to war zones, it has also survived a few hurricanes in the past.
While he was out of town when the tornado hit, Gamble was monitoring the grave weather situation from a safe distance, knowing full-well what he would be walking into. Upon his return to the area, he found out that his house was dilapidated. But that didn’t stop Gamble from putting up the flag that has accompanied him during other challenging times in his life.
“To come home to that, you pick up what you can pick up. […] You thank God that he has another plan for you because I normally would’ve been at the house at that time, and if I had been, I wouldn’t have been here right now,” he said.
Watch Gamble discuss the flag and its significance in his life, below: