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Friends care for trampled U.S. flag

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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Two good Samaritans are being praised for picking up a trampled American flag in Mobile, Alabama.

24 year old Kees Anderson has worked at Mobile's Coast Guard Aviation Training Center for almost two years.

It's where he proudly wears the American flag on his uniform-- and learned what it stands for.

"I’m in the Coast Guard, search and rescue, that's our jam, that's what we do,” Anderson said. “So, of course it means a lot to me."

So, when he and a friend came across this crumpled American flag, clearly ripped off the pole-- Anderson saw it as just another way to serve his country.

"We kind of both looked at it, and we're like should we fold it? Yeah, let's fold it,” he said.

"We were joking like Kees you're in the military, this is fate, you were born for a moment like this, let's fold it up,” said Nikki Thompson.

Helping him do that...his friend, 25-year-old Nikki Thompson.

The two met here at a CrossFit gym in midtown a couple of months ago, where she's a coach.

But Sunday morning-- Anderson was the one coaching her.

"I’m like have you ever folded a flag? She said no i haven't. I said well now you have,” he said.

That teaching moment, now making a huge impact on the community.

"We felt like it was such a small thing, you know, a simple act of kindness,” she said.

But what happened minutes before, was the opposite of kindness.

Cameras also caught a man ripping the flag down and stomping on it before walking away.

Take another look--he's dressed as a pirate.

Ironic... If you think about who found the flag.

And with the flag back up-- it now also stands as a reminder of all the good in the world.

"That is a symbol of what our freedom stands for and what these people have literally sacrificed their lives for and done heroic things for, all in the name of that flag. And it's pretty important to me, to show respect,” said Anderson.

The owner of the flag said she is so happy the two are getting the recognition they deserve.

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