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Upset La Pine business owner has American flag vandalized, twice

Flag serves as 'constant reminder of the opportunity we have here'

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Jeremy Solito of La Pine said that after he bought his pizza oven in March, he quickly had to change plans.

“Unfortunately, my whole business operation calendar was messed up, because I wanted to do festivals, rodeos, things like that,” Solito said Sunday.

In October, he ended up securing a location in La Pine to make his wood-fired pizzas. And since then, he's the American flag he hoisted near his business was torn down and vandalized -- not once, but twice. 

“So I’m finding the flags -- usually the post is broken, the stand is ripped out of the tree," Solito said.

He's given the damaged flags to the American Legion in La Pine to retire properly.

“I help out a youth group on Wednesday, so that’s the day that we’re closed, and that’s usually the day that it happens,” he said.

After the second time it happened, Solito decided to not just replace the flag again, but he also put up a second Stars and Stripes. 

“My family came here from Ellis Island, and so we’re immigrants," he said. "We’ve started from the ground up, and they’ve served our country, so it’s just nice."

Solito said he flies the flag as "a constant reminder of the opportunity that we have here, and to be successful and to start something from the ground up. So it’s just disappointing, and disrespectful.” 

As a result, he's also increased his security measures: “I have two cameras up hidden, so people don’t take those also.” 

At this point, Solito said he does not have any solid leads. 

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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