Acts of Kindness
Garbage collector fishes out familiar item from homeowners trash unaware he’s being recorded
He plucked it out not knowing he was being filmed by the homeowner.
Jaclyn Abergas
05.06.22

What would you do if you found a USA flag in the trash one day?

Marine Corps veteran Don Gardner has been working as a garbage collector for the past 11 years in Emery County, Utah. He works hard 8 to 12 hours each day collecting garbage from hundreds of homes.

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YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
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YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

His truck has been fitted with modern advancements so he only has to push a button and a lever will grab the trash bin and dump it inside his truck. He rarely needs to step out of his vehicle, unless a grandmother has forgotten to take out the trash.

YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

Well, a week before this video was posted on Fox 12 News Utah, Don found an item in a random garbage bin that was too precious to destroy.

Brooke Cowley, the same person who took out the garbage bin into the street for collection, took this video of Don removing a USA flag from the same bin and folding it the right way.

“I took an oath once to defend this country and this flag and I still do,” Don said.

YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

Brooke saw him and took a video to praise Don.

“‘What is he doing?’ and immediately, I was so embarrassed,” Brooke shared. “Oh my gosh, I’m petrified. I’m married to a veteran. What am I doing?”

YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

She had accidentally thrown away the USA flag. And, even though she knew she was going to be called out for it, she still chose to share this video of Don folding the USA flag.

“I wanted our community to see what he did and show the love and care he gave our flag,” Brooke admitted. “And I wanted them to see and give him the respect that he gave to our flag.”

YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

The people who knew Don, also known as Munch, and saw the video weren’t surprised by his actions.

“That is who Don is, you know,” Whitney Phelps, one of his friends, said. “It doesn’t surprise me that he did it because he’s a veteran. And when you’re from a small town, you have a love for your country or the flag.”

YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

And it turns out finding the USA flag in Brooke’s garbage bin is not the first time this has happened.

In this 11 years working as a garbage collector, he’s seen the USA flag dumped in the bin several times.

“It gets me mad, gets me angry. Sometimes, it’s a mistake. Most of the time, it’s on purpose,” Don stated. “I have a problem with that. So I just take it and I take care of it.”

YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

He also said that there’s a right way to part ways with the USA flag.

One way is to drop it off at a local flag collection box. These can be found at local VFW and American Legion chapters, Boy Scout and Girl Scout offices, or even police stations.

Or you can have a retirement ceremony in your home. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance before burning the flag, according to local and state fire laws.

Or you can fold it the right way and place it in a box. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and bury it in your backyard.

This is, of course, assuming that the flag is in a state that’s unfit for display. If it’s still in good condition, it’s always best to donate or give it away.

YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube - Fox 13 News Utah

Want to meet Don “Munch” Gardner? Watch the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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