Veterans Memorial vandalized in Avondale, community hurt and confused

AVONDALE, Colo. (KRDO) – The veterans memorial in Avondale is in ruins after being vandalized during the holidays. The commemorative flag of a missing prisoner of war was torn, a statue toppled and concrete benches in the park were smashed.

Alex Benavidez, chairman of the Avondale-Boone Pueblo County Veterans Foundation (ABPCVF), told KRDO that the professionally installed Christmas lights in the park have also been turned off.

The cost of repairs is estimated to be around $ 5,000. The money, says Benavidez, the foundation doesn’t.

“As a veteran, I am enraged,” said Benavidez. “I couldn’t even describe the emotions going through me when I got the phone call.”

Benavidez says he and the foundation spent a lot of time and effort renovating the memorial. He believes the area is a beacon of the community, not just for veterans.

“He cut all those lights, he took our statue and smashed it. [He] broke the bricks of the foundation of it, then he took the POW-MIA flag and tore it to shreds, ”explained Benavidez.

Benavidez told KRDO he didn’t understand why the park was being targeted and couldn’t understand why someone would.

Although the vandalism was not captured on surveillance cameras, Benavidez says he has no doubt the park was targeted.

“I fought a lot with that, and I think it was deliberate vandalism of this area for this community,” he explained.

A report has been filed with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office. He hopes whoever caused this destruction knows how much it hurt him as a veteran.

“I hope you have to sit down with yourself each day and realize what you have destroyed and how many people you have injured in the process,” he said.

According to Benavidez, the ABPCVF will have to raise funds to pay for the repairs.

Donations for repairs can be sent to Avondales Boone Pueblo County Veterans Foundation PO Box 314, Avondale, CO 81022

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Pia Miller

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