The Lawrence Veterans of Foreign Wars post is expected soon to get a new American flag and POW/MIA flag after they were stolen last week.
Applebee’s International Inc., the Lenexa-based operator of the grill and bar chain, has donated funds to the post to cover costs of the new flags and their installation, said Bob Rentfro, the company’s director of operations.
“We certainly have a fondness for the veterans and the folks who protect us,” Rentfro said Friday. “It just seemed like this was just another great opportunity for us to show our appreciation and to be a supporter of the veterans.”
Lawrence post members this week said they were working to replace the flags that fly in front of the post hall, 138 Ala., after someone stole them and cut the rope to the flagpole overnight last Thursday. Fred Shockey, commander of the Alford-Clarke VFW Post No. 852, had said post members were working to replace the flags before the annual POW/MIA ceremony Sept. 16.
Applebee’s got in touch with post members Thursday after reading about the theft in the Journal-World, company officials said. Police and post members estimated it would cost about $100 to replace the flags, so Rentfro said the monetary donation was not large, but symbolic.
“We just wanted to give them the opportunity to get those flags back up as quickly as possible,” he said. “It was a shame that they disappeared, and we intend as little time to go by as possible before those flags were replaced.”