Vandals Strike Waveland's Vietnam War Memorial

Vandals have hit the Veterans Memorial in Waveland again. It's the third time in the past two years someone has marred the site.

A Waveland woman couldn't believe the mess she captured with her video camera Sunday morning at the Waveland Veteran's Memorial - graffiti, and what look like gang symbols and messages with profanity we couldn't show on television.

Volunteer Grounds Keeper Raymond Cuevas saw the mess with his own two eyes.

"After all the many hours that we put in out here by the volunteers to improve the appearance of the place, then to come out and see something like that, it's heart breaking," Cuevas said.

Cuevas is a Vietnam Veteran who spends a lot of time keeping up the beach front memorial.

"It's a disgrace. These people have no respect for other people's property or stuff that's been dedicated to the people who have given their lives for our country. They have to come out and destroy it. It's uncalled for."

Cuevas and several other spent nearly five hours Sunday trying to make right, what the vandals wrecked.

Alderman Santo Saucier was one of the volunteers.

"It was just really a slap in our face," Saucier said.

Saucier called the vandalism "very disrespectful."

"These guys worked and fought for our country and we've got to give them the respect."

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the damage. Organizers hope to send a clear message to vandals.

Chief Jimmy Varnell says officers have stepped up patrols in the area, but he asks that nearby residents keep an eye out for suspicious activity around the memorial.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call the Waveland Police Department at 467-3669. Those convicted of vandalism could face up to a $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

by Al Showers