PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – The prisoner of war and missing in action flag was flying upside down through out Memorial day weekend, at the Punta Gorda post office.
“We were living in the jungle, we were sleeping under a poncho, I never had a hot meal,” says Bill Grey, a veteran of the Vietnam war. “I went days at a time without taking my boots off.”
One of the deadliest wars in American history, and this Marine narrowly escaped death in Vietnam after serving on the front lines. Shot in the chest — a bullet went straight through his lungs and out through his back.
“It was a like a tremendous shock, like a tremendous electrical shock,” he says.
He was one of the lucky ones. Bill Grey served alongside friends who died, became prisoners of war, or are missing in action. However, over Memorial Day, he says he felt like was shot in the chest all over again when he saw a flag infront of the Punta Gorda post office.
“I couldn’t believe it. I looked up and the POW flag was upside down,” he says.
That was on saturday. He went inside, told management and left. Then on Memorial Day, when he remembers those who fought beside him, he says he was in shock once again, “When we pulled into the parking lot, I looked up and I couldn’t believe that the flag was still upside down.” Holding back tears, he says, “It just felt bad.”
The postal service tells WINK News, “The Postal Service proudly flies the U.S. flag at 31,000 Post Offices and facilities nationwide. We also take great pride in the fact that we employ more veterans than any other federal agency. We were disappointed to learn that the POW-MIA flag was not displayed properly at one of our offices. The rope that hoists the flag was broken and has been fixed. We extend our apologies for this incident. ”
However, to Grey, it hit too close to home, “Someone can’t take the time to respect the millions of men and women who have died in the wars.”