Vandals damage Las Cruces veteran memorial

The Las Cruces Vietnam War memorial was vandalized overnight.

A Vietnam War memorial was found vandalized in Las Cruces. Several people CBS4 spoke with said they were angry and disgusted.

Bruce Fonnest is the president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 431 in Las Cruces. He visits the memorial often.

“When I'm feeling real down, I talk to these guys,” Fonnest said. “I feel better when I leave. I leave my burden onto them.”

Fonnest, who served two tours in Vietnam, said he has post-traumatic stress disorder. Visiting fallen soldiers at the memorial site is therapeutic for him.

On Thursday, though, he was met with a horrific surprise.

“I see some real bad damage right there and it really makes me mad,” Fonnest said.

Letter were stolen from a sign and a helicopter was damaged.

“I don't know what you could say about that there, it just makes me mad,” Fonnest said.

Other veterans tricked in throughout the day to visit the site and see the vandalism firsthand. Lorine Gould showed up with her father, a veteran.

“He was pissed. He went over there and looked at it and he shook his head,” Gould said.

Police were on scene documenting the damage as they begin their investigation.

Fonnest just hopes they find those responsible.

“I'd like to get my hands on them but that's not possible. Let the law take care of them,” Fonnest said.

It’s still unclear how much damages will cost but Fonnest said it could be at least a few hundred dollars.

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