Moses Lake, Washington resident Junior Villarreal’s home security camera recently caught a young man on his front porch, and he took to Facebook to identify the culprit.
In early March, Villarreal found a plastic bag hanging from his front door, and inside was a fresh American flag. Surveillance footage revealed a teen leaving the bag behind, and Villarreal snapped an image of the young man and posted it online, Fox News reports.
“Attention. He didn’t do anything wrong but does anyone know who this kid is? He drives that light blue jeep parked on the street,” Villarreal posted to Facebook. “Well I just bought a house that has a flag pole with an old tore up flag still on it and wasn’t gonna change it out until the weather got better but this kid was kind enuf to stop at my house and leave a new flag on my door knob yesterday. That’s what was in the bag.”
“Well anyways, I just wanted to thank him and tell him I appreciate what he did,” Villarreal wrote. “That was so generous of him.”
The Facebook post led Villarreal to 18-year-old David Phillips, whom he thanked and offered to repay him for the flag – an offer that was rejected.
Phillips’ mother, Simone Phillips, explained to iFiber One News that her two teen sons grew up in the military, and they schemed together on the patriotic act “out of respect for the flag.”
Researchers at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture found that when individuals are embedded in larger spheres of moral obligation, moral behavior is enhanced. Three areas are noted in their research: immigration, religion, and the military. They found that people “respect and honor those serving, those who have served, and those students thinking about joining. This is particularly true in rural high schools. In this incident the flag is not a symbol of an ongoing culture war, but an act of kindness and neighborliness rooted in this larger context of meaning.
“Simone says David and her 16-year old son Luke were traveling through the area and noticed the flag. Later that day, she said the boys came home and talked about getting a new flag for the home’s owner,” according to the news site.
“After some debate, Simone said her son Luke pulled his American flag off his bedroom wall and offered it up as the home’s replacement flag. On Saturday (March 2), just after 4p.m., David hung a garbage bag with the flag in it on Junior’s front door.”
Villarreal said the gift was a welcomed surprise, and it serves as a testament to both Phillips’ character and the positive influence youth can have on their community.
“With all the negative news about school shootings, it was really nice to see a teenager do something like this,” he told iFiber One News.
Many folks responding to Villarreal’s Facebook post agreed.
“There is future hope for our country!” Michael Roxbury wrote. “Great kid!”
“There needs to be more kids like him,” Stephanie Hale added.
For teachers and principals interested in fostering qualities of good citizens in their students support can be found at the UK's Jubilee Centre.