American flag from Afghanistan returns home for Indy 500

Posted at 2:04 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 14:08:32-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- An American flag that flew in Afghanistan a year ago returned to Indianapolis this week, and will fly for the Indianapolis 500.

Lt. j.g. Matt Deitchle flew an American flag over NATO Camp Resolute Support in Kabul, Afghanistan in honor of the 100th Indianapolis 500 last year. After the race, he shipped it to IMS President Doug Boles.

"It's something that I couldn't have dreamed would happen," Deitchle said. "I fly it today and I fly it throughout the race week to show support for not only the people I served with, but the people who continue to serve all over the world, protecting freedom and democracy."

Boles kept the flag for a year, until Deitchle returned home. On Tuesday, Boles and Deitchle raised the flag outside the IMS Museum, with Boles tearing up at the magnitude of the moment.

"It's pretty powerful," Boles said. "I know that's what the fans feel here. That's what makes this Memorial Day weekend so special. I wasn't prepared to cry here today, but hearing that was impressive."

Deitchle will be at Sunday's race, rooting for Scott Dixon.

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