Military flags found in storage facility; man needs help tracking down owners

DENVER -- A storage company shut down by the state gave customers just days to pick up their belongings or they’d be trashed.

A man hired to clean up what was left discovered a military flag belonging to a Navy veteran. Now he needs help tracking down the rightful owner.

“Navy chief is a real big deal in the Navy,” Pete Mikulin said.

As Mikulin runs his fingers over the American flag, he’s met with a rush of memories.

“It’s difficult. It’s hard for me,” Mikulin said.

A Navy veteran himself, Mikulin reflects on the 12 years he served, stationed out of California. He knows the meaning of sacrifice.

This week, his company was hired to clean out the building located at 700 W. 48th Ave. in Denver.

Former customers of the moving and storage company were instructed to pick up their items, but if they didn’t make the deadline, the belongings were discarded.

“This is a dumpster with people’s belongings in it,” former customer Lana Barrett said.

As Mikulin sorted through the piles slated for trash, he stopped short at the sight of this flag.

“We found a burial flag. A U.S. Navy burial flag for a chief petty officer. Somebody is missing this. Absolutely,” Mikulin said.

On the back of the burial flag display is the name Larry Michael Rogers -- a veteran who served 25 years in the Navy. A veteran who deserves to have his last honor cherished by his family.

Mikulin also found something else: An American flag and certificate belonging to U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Christopher Cothron, who sacrificed his life during Operation Enduring Freedom.

“It’s an act of gratitude so he did something special in Afghanistan to earn and deserve that,” Mikulin said.

Mikulin knows the flags and military pins hold irreplaceable value to the loved ones whose husband, son or brother, laid down their life for our country.

“I’m incredibly emotional right now but I’d like to find the people that these belong to. These things belong to these soldiers,” Mikulin said.

Anyone who recognizes the names or knows the families can send an email.

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