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Las Vegas World War II veteran gets flag raising honor on Memorial Day

Posted at 11:51 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 15:02:07-04

UPDATE MAY 29: Active military members, veterans, family and friends all gathered Monday to show their appreciation to World War II veteran, William Barclay. 

Back in February, Barclay's American and Naval flags were burned to the ground. 

Monday, a personal flag-raising ceremony was put on my local veterans organizations, to honor Barclay and his service. 

Barclay says on Memorial Day, his flags were raised for all the men who lost their lives fighting alongside Barclay in World War II.  

"I still think of some of my buddies, they were 18 just like me, and they got killed during the 24 months I was in," says Barclay.  

UPDATE MAY 19: William Barclay has new landscaping in preparation for a flag-raising ceremony Memorial Day at 10 a.m.

UPDATE APRIL 20: People are still donating their services to William Barclay after someone burned his American and Navy flags. 

K & R Painting painted Barclay's house on Thursday.

Next week, ScottsMiracle-Gro will do the landscaping and put in new grass.

The home makeover will be finished in time for an official flag-raising ceremony next month.

Barclay is still overwhelmed by all the love and support he's received since February.

UPDATE FEB. 23: The support is still pouring in from people all over the country. William Barclay has 41 new flags.

One of his newest flags is a custom Navy flag with Barclay's name and years of service on it.

A favorite came with a special note from a woman who lost her husband in the war. She said she was "honored to find it a new home with a remarkable fellow like" Barclay.

The veteran also received four flood lights, four cameras and motion sensors.

Ron Gutierrez is installing a brand new security system for Barclay.

"We don't want a penny and it just makes us feel good," Gutierrez said.

Barclay's car, which was burned in the fire, has also been fixed.

Two more companies will be volunteering their services to paint his house and lay new grass.

Two more companies are coming forward to paint Barclay's house and lay new grass too.

UPDATE FEB. 16: Dozens of members of the Las Vegas community, including a group of local members of the U.S. Navy, reached out to 13 Action News after they saw the story about William Barclay, wanting to replace his flags.

On Thursday morning, Barclay received a special visit by the U.S. Navy, who presented him with new flags.

And that was just the beginning -- from a security system to several people offering to fix his car which was also burned.

Another man donated an original 48 star flag from World War II.

Barclay says he's never been one to ask for help.  

"Every time someone wants to do something for me, I say I can handle that ... but if you want to do it that's OK with me," he said.

A GoFundMe has also been set up.

See photo gallery above for pictures.


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- A 92-year-old veteran is heartbroken after three of his American flags and a U.S. Navy flag were burned to ashes.

William Barclay says he went outside to let his dog go to the bathroom Wednesday morning when he noticed his U.S. Navy flag was burned to ashes and one of his American flags was in shreds. He also saw the two American flags flying on his car were burnt to ashes too.
"I picked up the flag like this and I said what the heck? What happened to my flag?"
Barclay was drafted into the Navy when he was 18 years old. He was a Signalman during World War II. That meant he was responsible for all messages via the American flag on his ship, the USS Stockdale.
"I handled the flag the whole two years I was there," he said.
Barclay's time served in the Navy explains why he flies his flags so high and why they mean so much to him. He can't understand why someone would burn them.
"What I'm mad about is all I went through with this American flag on my ship and then I come home and put it up and somebody does this to me."
Police told Barclay a group of people set multiple fires in the area near Nellis Boulevard and Wyoming Avenue in the early morning hours Wednesday.
Barclay hopes they get caught.