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Veteran with cancer donates Marine Corps flag every Memorial Day

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 20:16:10-04

Pride and prestige stand out when looking at the military photos of Leonard Falcone, a 86-year-old man who fought in the Korean War.

It's also evident in his awards he has received for his service, and it waves proudly in his backyard—the scarlet and gold Marine Corps flag.

"Be proud that you're a Marine," Falcone told News 5 from his home in Green.

Falcone also puts his words into action.

Each year since 2011, he has purchased a new Marine Corps flag and donated it to the Green's Veterans Memorial Park. The new flag replaces the old one on Memorial Day and it's always an emotional moment for Falcone.

"From my part, a veteran's part, it means, 'Thank you for your service,'" he said while getting choked up.

The donation is especially meaningful because of Falcone's personal battle with fighting cancer for the past two years.

He has Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He takes chemo pills, which make him very tired.

"It's helping the cancer, but it's not curable," he said.

However, his terminal cancer diagnosis has not, and will not, steal his kindness towards others.

Falcone said he will continue to donate the flags every year he has left.

"Makes you feel proud, I guess," he said.