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Vets, park boosters seek vandalism answers
Aiken Standard - 7/29/2022
Jul. 29—BURNETTOWN — Hector Rodriguez, as an Army veteran from the early 1960s, has had hands-on contact with a variety of military vehicles, and he's currently looking for some help in trying to determine who gave some unwelcome attention to some heavy-duty military memorabilia on permanent display.
Horse Creek Midland Valley Veterans Park, on S.C. 421, has had several surplus items on display since 2018, all with a history of troop transportation, and vandalism is suspected to have occurred at least twice this month, with windshields and other windows having taken the brunt of the abuse.
Rodriguez said the trouble was first discovered "probably in early July," with abuse of "the big rig," and the assumption was that maybe a child had thrown a rock. About two weeks later, damage was discovered involving an additional vehicle.
The seats in one vehicle, he added, have been rearranged, indicating that someone used it as a place to sleep. "I hate to blame it on the homeless community, because ... they probably are not the ones that busted the windshields. They cannot find places to sleep. That's the most accessible situation."
There is reportedly no camera footage of the vandal(s) in action, the mayor said. The Bath-area park has a variety of monuments, and the Army vehicles are a relatively recent addition to the display, having been placed in 2018.
A committee maintains the park, he said. Rodriguez served from 1961 to 1963, having undergone basic training at Fort Dix in New Jersey, and then being a part of the military police school at Fort Gordon.
The park is used for a variety of ceremonies during the course of a year, in connection with Memorial Day, Flag Day, the National Day of Prayer, Veterans Day and Wreaths Across America. Rodriguez asked that anyone with information on the apparent criminal activity call the town hall, at 803-593-2676.
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