(UPDATE 4:30 p.m.)– The monument stood untouched for more than ten years in GAR Memorial Park in memory of Lance Corporal Troy Nealey–a Marine from Eaton Rapids who was killed while serving in Iraq.
“He just thought it was his duty to do that, because he loved his country,” says Barbara Rogers, Nealey’s grandmother. “He loved everybody and he loved his country.”
Police found the monument broken on Thursday night with part of it lying on the ground.
The symbol that was torn off of this monument is known as the Battlefield Cross, a rifle and helmet that’s meant to signify those who were killed in battle. Right now, the city has it in its possession, and they’re trying to figure out exactly how much it would cost to fix it.
The boots remain, but it’s still a hard sight for Nealey’s grandmother.
“You just do not do things like this.”
Police collected surveillance video from nearby businesses hoping for a lead.
“This is an important to our community and to the people of our community and to his family,” says Eaton Rapids Police Chief Larry Weeks. “It’s just horrible to think that somebody would do this and why they would do it. Hopefully we’ll get some answers here soon but I just feel horrible for those folks.”
“I was here when they dedicated it, I was here for the young man’s funeral,” Rick Jones says, “and we hope that somebody comes forward and gives us information.
The city plans to rebuild and restore the monument in Nealey’s honor, no matter what.
EATON RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS)– Police are investigating after a veteran monument was found vandalized earlier this week.
The monument, located in Island Park in Eaton Rapids, was placed in memory of Troy Nealey, a Marine who was killed in the line of duty in 2006.
6 News will continue to follow this story and update as we learn more.