SOUTH JORDAN — For some residents of this quiet neighborhood, it's a crime that makes them sick to their stomachs.
Jordan Bauer left Sunday for his second tour of duty with the U.S. Marines. The first was in Iraq, this one is to Afghanistan. To mark the occasion, Sue Goodrich, along with her husband, lined the street leading to the Bauer house in a quiet cul-de-sac, near 9700 South and 3300 West, with American flags on Saturday afternoon.
Sometime between midnight Saturday and early Sunday morning, someone cut 14 flags off the poles they were hanging on and took them.
"I'm disappointed somebody could do this," said Jordan Bauer's father, Mitch Bauer. "Somebody is leaving so they can have their freedom, doing a good thing going to protect the country, and for this to happen … it's pretty saddening."
For six years, Goodrich, the area's Cub Scout pack organizer, has been placing U.S. flags at the edge of driveways for all major holidays and recently began doing it for U.S. servicemen and woman leaving or returning from duty.
The flags for Bauer were set up about 3 p.m. Saturday. The Goodrich family, who were out that evening, saw them all flying when they returned home about 10 p.m.
"It's absolutely great. It brings a tear to your eye," Bauer said of the flag display. "To think your neighbors would do something like that, to honor your son who is going away."
The Bauers, she said, had company until about midnight and saw the flags still flying after they left. Early Sunday morning, however, about half of the flags were gone.
"We were just shocked," she said. "You would never think anyone would do anything like that."
"It just kind of put a pit in his stomach," neighbor Becky Eggers said of her husband's reaction when he discovered what had happened. "It's an unsettling feeling."
Goodrich said she had never had trouble in the past with someone vandalizing or taking the flags. She even half expected to open her door Monday morning and find the flags dropped off on her doorstep.
Signs of patriotism were still obvious Monday at the Bauer home, where a small flag hung from the front door and two flags were displayed in the front yard.
"I thought they'd just dump them somewhere," she said. "It's extremely disappointing. You should be able to put a flag in your front yard without anyone bothering it."
The neighborhood received some good news Monday when a man whose brother was a war veteran purchased 12 American flags and planned on donating them to Goodrich.
"It goes to show that for every mean thing out there, there are nice people that make up the difference," she said. "There's a lot of good people."
Anyone with information on the stolen flags can call police at 801-840-4000.
In addition, Bauer said he was going to buy 10 flags to give back to the Scouts, who normally have to raise enough money to purchase the flags.
"They shouldn't have to suffer for their kindness. The money is not an issue," he said.
Jordan Bauer will spend the first three months of his tour of duty in California, where he will be in training before going to Afghanistan for seven months. His father said this tour is a little harder on his son than the last, because the young man was just married two weeks ago.