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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- During a Veteran's Day event Sunday called Heroes on the Water, around 100 vets showed up to be taken on a guided kayak fishing tour.

James Brown, a retired Marine, was one of the guides that day, and showed a military couple some of his fishing spots around Brown's Creek.

But Brown says a gust of wind kicked up, knocking over a rig on the back of his kayak.

"I had a camera back there, and my flag," he said.

Both were lost to the tide. The camera, while a little more expensive than the flag, he says he can live without.

Losing his flag, a Marine Corps banner that he's had since he graduated boot camp on Paris Island, SC, he says stings.

He remembers the exact day. he bought it.

"It was February 13, 1983, I'll never forget it."

Marines will tell you they'll always remember finishing up at Paris Island.

Brown is no exception.

And he has carried that flag with him everywhere since that day 30 years ago.

"When I realized it was gone, I went back and looked and looked and looked," he said.

But he had no luck, and is hoping the flag will wash up somewhere safe, and that someone will see it.

If you do happen upon the Marine Corps flag in the creeks or river near Brown's Creek, email

Lewis Turner here: lewisturner@firstcoastnews.com.

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