EATON RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS)– A statue built for a fallen soldier was recently restored months after someone vandalized.
The monument stood untouched for nearly ten years in GAR Island Park, where Lance Corporal Marine Troy Nealey used to play as a child.
When his grandmother Barbara Rogers and other family members found out someone vandalized the statue in January, they were stunned and furious.
Patrick Rich of the Fallen Heroes Memorial Foundation was determined to have the monument fixed and replaced at the park.
“Our mission is to help the families and remember these fallen soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Rich said. “Violence is not gonna take care of nothing, and if we do find out who it is, it is a federal crime.”
Several groups worked to raise the money to fix this memorial, but COVID-19 put a hold on some of their fundraising efforts. Luckily there was enough support from the community to raise the money needed to restore the battlefield cross to its rightful place.
“The city of Eaton Rapids has had the biggest heart since it got vandalized,” Rich said. “They helped put it back together, and we appreciate it so much.”
Police are still working to find whoever broke the monument, and there is still a $2000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Rich says for now, it’s enough to know Nealey’s memory is honored once more.