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After discovering an American flag thrown in the trash, Garbageman takes the time to fold it properly.

When a garbage collector noticed an American flag thrown in a trash can, he refused to let it get thrown in his truck. He wanted to properly dispose of it.

And it was all caught on camera… by the person who threw it out by mistake.

Don Gardner spends hours picking up garbage in Emery and Carbon counties in Utah, and while he has been known to stop and bring trashcans from elderly residents to the street, he doesn’t stop for much else.

Unless he notices the stars and stripes, which are a familiar pattern.

“I took an oath to defend this country and our flag once,” he told KSTU. “Many people died protecting and fighting under that flag.” A lot of blood has been shed for us to have the freedoms we have today.”

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Gardner, a Marine Corps veteran, said it irritates him to see an American flag thrown in the trash.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. He has saved at least a dozen flags during his 11-year career as a trash collector.

“It irritates me,” he said. “I become enraged. It’s not always a mistake. It’s usually done on purpose. That bothers me, so I just take it out and deal with it.”

Gardner was being watched by the person who had disposed of the flag Gardner had stopped for.

“He pulls over, gets out of his truck, and I wonder, ‘What is he doing?’” According to Brooke Cowley. “And then I was mortified, like, oh my gosh, I was petrified, because I’m married to a veteran.” “What exactly am I doing?”

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Cowley then stood there watching Gardner take the flag she had inadvertently thrown away while cleaning up over the Easter weekend. She videotaped him and posted it on social media to show her community “what he did, and to see the care and love he gave our flag.”

“I wanted them to see him and respect him the way he respected our flag.”

Gardner said he’ll be happy to take care of or educate anyone who wants to get rid of an old American flag. However, if you are not in Emery or Carbon counties in Utah, an American flag should “be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning,” according to the United States Flag Code.

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Organizations such as the American Legion, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts will also collect and properly retire flags. An American flag may also be disposed of at your local fire station.

Thank you, Don for honoring our flag!

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