New Flag Donated for Military Vet’s Burial After Original Flag Stolen

ROSEVILLE -- Penny Pelkey admits to accidentally leaving the garage door open at her Roseville home.

But it's clear that whoever crept inside last weekend opened her car and took her precious keepsakes did so on purpose.

"I'm a kind, loving, giving person and there was no reason to do this to me," she said.

Who knows if the thief knew the bench was meant to be a memorial, that the triangulated American flag in her car was a symbol of her husband's sacrifice for our country.

What Penny does know is that it hurt tremendously to know they stole both items just days before Air Force veteran David Pelkey's burial service.

"They're going to do 'Taps' and present the flag to me, that's why I needed the flag to bring to the cemetery," she said.

But Penny will still be able to see that plan through. Tuesday, she filed a police report about the burglary.

"I felt terrible because there wasn't much I could say to make her feel better right then," said Roseville police Officer Stephanie Giannini.

But responding officer Giannini made sure Pelkey's story was posted to Facebook. And just three hours later Doug Wagemann and his tiny mascot Lady gifted Penny a new flag.

"One of the things veterans are entitled to is an American flag, so to have that ripped away from this lady even before this gentleman was buried is just atrocious, and so it's just a small thing that we're able to do," Wagemann said.

Penny is thankful that the community cared enough to help her during a hard time.

She's seen many of them.

"He always had a kind heart, a very loving heart," Pelkey said.

"The last 11 years were not so great," she said.

She said for 14 of their 25 years together, David was the kind of man who planned secret escapades for their anniversaries. But he spiraled into neurological illness. He died in November from complications related to Lewy Body dementia.

"I've been a strong woman, and I've stood by him through all of this," she said.

And she plans on standing by him until he's laid to rest.