Lee Co. firefighter makes sure Navy veteran’s flag is returned during weekend storms

Lee Co. firefighter makes sure Navy veteran’s flag is returned during weekend storms

LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - A Lee County firefighter made sure to protect a Navy veteran’s flag when Saturday’s storm snapped a flagpole in half.

Navy Veteran John Knighton said the storm didn’t last long, but he said it was 15 seconds of terror when the storm hit Stocks Dairy Road.

“All of a sudden I heard like a sonic boom and that caused me to jump,” said Knighton.

John Knighton
John Knighton (Source: WALB)

Knighton said he was just sitting in the house, watching TV. He said the storm came out of nowhere and turned his day into a day of fear.

Knighton’s home was one of a few that were damaged off Stocks Dairy Road in Leesburg Saturday.

He said this was the same feeling he felt during Hurricane Michael. Knighton said he knew something bad had just happened.

“The first thing I looked for was my flagpole and my flagpole was down and this one was dented and my flags were nowhere to be seen,” described Knighton.

The broken flagpole in John Knighton's yard.
The broken flagpole in John Knighton's yard. (Source: WALB)

Knighton said the Lee County Fire Department was patrolling around the area at the time.

A firefighter rang his doorbell with good news.s

“Just assessing damage and saw the flagpole had blown over and I saw the flag on the ground, so I got out, just out of respect and got the flag out for him and took it to the homeowner who was inside the house,” said Capt. Tony Newsome.

The flag being returned to john Knighton.
The flag being returned to john Knighton. (Source: WALB)

Newsome said he has a huge amount of respect for the people who serve this country.

Knighton said his neighbors called him and made sure he was OK.

He said the next day they came out and helped clean up his yard.

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