HYPOLUXO, Fla. - A former U.S. Marine from Hypoluxo was taking heat for the American flag in his own front yard.
The story of Marine Gregory Schaffer has received attention close to home and also from around the world. Schaffer said he did not realize the flagpole he put up was against code.
"Just makes you remember everything that you've been through." During his seven months in Iraq, Schaffer was fighting every day for his flag. Now, safe at home in Hypoluxo, he says he is fighting for his flagpole.
"I'm surprised the story took off as fast as it did and as far as it did," he said.
This war veteran says he was shocked when he was cited and told by town officials to remove this 18-foot flagpole because it did not have proper permitting.
The 24-year old took citation seriously - and also very personally.
"Everything I've been through in the military and everything that I know that my brothers overseas have gone through, people before me have gone through and what we fight for as a country," he said.
After the WPTV NewsChannel 5 story aired, there was an instant response, locally. Then, hundreds of responses came in from around the nation and even around the globe. They were from patriotic Americans, Schaffer says, offering money and manpower to cover the approximately $1,000 permitting process
A local engineer and contractor - who currently wish to remain anonymous - will work with Schaffer to bring this flagpole up to code so it can stay. "Nothing is going to look any different than the way it looks right now," said Schaffer. "You're going to see the flag in place just the way it sits."
A neighbor originally complained about the pole, tipping off the town of the potential code violation.
Schaffer, a renter, is working right now with his landlord to file the paperwork for a permit. Schaffer says only a signature and some work in the next few days are needed before the 18 foot flagpole is brought up top code.
Stay with WPTV NewsChannel 5 for updates on this story.
Jeff Skrzypek contributed to this story.