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Marines Say Corporal Apologizes For Torching American Flag

The Marine Corps says a corporal has apologized to a Vietnam veteran whose American flag was burned Friday night.

Corporal Vernon Johns is charged with felony first degree arson after Jacksonville police say the Marine set Robert Grafton's flag on his front porch on fire. Grafton and his wife were inside at the time.

The Marine Corps says Johns returned to Grafton's home to formally apologize, and that apology was greatly appreciated. Lt. Kristen McCarthy said in a statement that this type of behavior is "not appropriate and certainly not condoned by the Marine Corps and will be handled accordingly."

Johns, who was attending a party at the home next door to Grafton's home, was released on a $100,000 bond and will face a judge on December 12th. The Marine Corps says disciplinary action from them, if any, would come after Johns' case goes through the civilian court system.


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A Camp Lejeune Marine is in trouble with the law, after being accused of burning a retired Marine's American flag over the weekend.

Corporal Vernon Johns was arrested Saturday by Jacksonville police on a felony first degree arson charge. He's assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines.

Robert Grafton say the 24-year-old Marine was at his neighbor's home on Jarman Street when he says Johns came to his home and set fire to the flag flying from his front porch. Grafton is a Vietnam vet and a Purple Heart recipient.

Grafton said to him this was conduct unbecoming of a Marine. The retired Marine says he didn't know Johns, but it's like a family argument gone bad--between one Marine and another. He and his wife were inside the home at the time.

A replacement flag has already been purchased and it's going up by Thanksgiving.

Johns was released on a $100,000 bond and has a December 12th court date.


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