Self-proclaimed dumpster diver finds burial flag in Tempe trash bin

Posted at 9:51 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-27 17:03:32-04

A Valley man who likes to look for furniture and antiques in dumpsters stumbled up on a burial flag tossed in the trash. Coming from a strong military background, the man is now on a mission to return the stars and stripes to the family of the loved one who passed away.

Pete Reyes lives in the far east Valley but likes to come to Tempe in search of treasures.

At the Garden Grove Apartment Homes in the area of Kyrene and Elliot, he discovered something that should never be trashed.

"It was twisted backward," said Reyes. "I pulled the tote forward and looked in and found a flag, a burial flag."

Reyes' father served in the Korean War, his grandfather served in WWI and his son is currently enlisted in the service. He was shocked that someone's legacy could be disrespected.

"I might sound patriotic," said Reyes. "I get that from my dad; the most patriotic man in the world. He loved this country. And this bothers me."

Reyes put a photo of the flag on his Facebook page, hoping to spread the word and find family members of the owner.

In the meantime, he bought a frame for it and displays it right along side his father's and his grandfather's flags in his home.

"Out of respect for the soldier," said Reyes. "He's unknown to me. I don't know if it's male, female, religious background, I really don't care. He served our country."

If you have any information on the flag or want to get in contact with Reyes, you can email him at