FORT MILL — Lifelong Fort Mill resident Donald Messer was on his way to breakfast when he noticed something on his mailbox.
When he walked over to see what it was, he found an American flag and a note thanking him for his service in the United States military.
Messer enlisted in the Army in 1967 and served until 1970, spending two years in Vietnam during the height of the war. Throughout his service he worked in different positions including riot control and small arms repair.
The brand new flag, now flying in his front yard, replaced a worn out flag that Messer had in his front yard for a couple years and was about to replace. Messer said seeing the new flag made him feel good because he knows someone in the area cares about his time and service.
“I don’t know who did it or anything,” Messer said. “I sure appreciate whoever did it.”
According to Messer, gestures like this have become common around Fort Mill in recent years.
“In the last few years I’ve had more people do things for me,” Messer said. “I’ve had people buy me breakfast, people buy me lunch, all kinds of stuff, being nice to a veteran. I wish I’d had that more when I came back but I guess better late than never.”
Not only has Messer served his country, but he has served the Fort Mill community as well. At Christmas, he decorates his house on Munn Road with massive amounts of lights and inflatables and dresses as Santa Claus, greeting families and giving candy to children who would stop by to see the decorations. One year he wrapped and gave out presents to two classes from a local school who came to visit him.
“I don’t have much but I can share whatever I have,” he said.