An Army veteran in Oklahoma City was tired of walking past a tattered American flag that flew in front of his place of work for almost a year.
"It was heart wrenching to see that flag kept in that disgusting manner," Nicholas Odparlik told KOCO in Oklahoma City.
He also said he had discussed the torn flag with company management before, but nobody ever took down or replaced the flag. Odparlik worked a security job at Loomis, a cash distribution network in the U.S.
Odparlik spent eight years serving in the Army, and he told WFLA in Florida that he was willing to die for that flag, but nobody seemed to care.
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Then, almost a year after his hiring date, Odparlik finally had enough. He told WFLA that he snapped and was ready to bring the flag down last week.
"I tried to untie the rope, and I couldn't," he told KOCO.
That's when he grabbed a knife.
"I cut the rope and I brought the flag down," he said.
The veteran told WFLA that he planned to properly dispose of the flag after a surprise trip with his dad — who also is a veteran — to Florida to visit their family.
Odparlik had been sitting at the table with his family in Florida, WFLA reported, when he got a call from his work.
He said his supervisor told him to bring in his uniforms when he was back in Oklahoma because he was fired.
"I'm OK with it because I know, at the end of the day, I stood up for what's right," he told KOCO after returning to Oklahoma City.
But his grandma in Florida didn't feel the same.
"He showed me the shredded flag, and I said, 'They fired you for that? ... that's a disgrace,'" Gudrun Olparlik told WFLA.
In hindsight, Odparlik told WFLA, he could have handled the situation differently by replacing the flag right away or letting his boss know about what he did.
"What I did wasn't right either, two wrongs don't make a right as the quote goes," he said. "But at the end of the day, this is my country, this is my home and I was offended."
He still plans to make it right, though. The veteran told WFLA he'd be bringing in a new flag when he returns his uniforms.
"You've just gotta stand up for what's right sometimes," he said. "I guess that's the hardest thing about being an American soldier and sometimes you have to take that fall. And I knew nobody else would."
Asked by KOCO whether he would do it again, Odparlik replied, "Yes. In a heartbeat."
Loomis officials told KOCO they do not comment on individual employment matters. The company did not return a request for comment to WFLA.