Flat Top Park Fallen Soldiers Memorial Vandalized For A Second Time
The memorial for fallen soldiers at Flat Top park in West Richland was hit by vandals for a second time overnight.
In early March vandals stole the helmet and rifle from the memorial
Those pieces were recovered just a few days behind the Benton County mosquito building.
After fundraising for months, on the 4th of July the combat veterans were able to put up new and improved pieces.
Now less than two weeks since installing the new pieces the memorial was hit again, and this time it was the boots.
"We had set the boots back on the memorial and we had used a quick setting grout," Combat Veterans international Tri-Cities chapter president Paul Lamm said. "It looked like someone had damage the grout and tried to remove the boots from the memorial."
The group now has the boots with them for safe keeping and to prevent more damage.
Lamm said the vandals also tried to poke sticks through the tops of the boots and when the got the grout on their hands they wiped it on the riffle and plaque.
He said he would love to see whomever is doing this help them fix this because their mentality needs to change.
"So that they know this is not a piece of metal it's not a stone with a plaque it represents something and that something is to remember the the fallen," said Lamm.
West Richland Chamber of Commerce executive director May Hays said they have have been working to get bids on solid brass or led boots and the installation of a camera, but it was important for the vets to re dedicate their memorial on the 4th of July so they went ahead with what they had.
Lamm said to vets these attacks on the memorial are starting to feel personal.
"There's really nothing that could come of this as far as if they're stealing it for money," Lamm said. "For kicks that's what hurts, when somebody does this just to be malicious."
Lamm said they have filed a case with the West Richland police who have promised to step up presence in that area, and assist the veterans in installing cameras to fully cover the memorial.
He said the combat veterans are even talking having a member on watch the memorial 24/7.
The next step for the combat vets is to start the fundraising process again.
The money will go to that camera, led boots, and maintenance.
Donations for the memorial can be made at the West Richland Chamber of Commerce.