AVONDALE, Colo. (KRDO)-- The veterans memorial in Avondale is in the process of being repaired after being vandalized over the holidays. A prisoner of war missing in action memorial flag was ripped, a statue was toppled, and concrete benches in the park were broken.
Alex Benavidez, the president of the Avondale-Boone Pueblo County Veterans Foundation (ABPCVF), told KRDO Christmas lights professionally installed throughout the park were also cut.
The cost of repairs estimates at about $5,000. Money, Benavidez says, the foundation doesn't have.
"As a veteran, I am enraged," Benavidez said. "I couldn't even describe the emotions that that were going through me when I when I got the phone call."
Benavidez says he and the foundation put considerable time and effort into renovating the memorial. He believes the area is a beacon of the community, not just for veterans.
"He cut all of those lights, he took our statue and smashed it. [He] broke the bricks of the foundation of it and then he took the POW-MIA flag and ripped that down to shreds," explained Benavidez.
Benavidez told KRDO he doesn't understand why was the park was targeted and can't comprehend why somebody would do it.
While the vandalism wasn't caught on surveillance cameras, Benavidez says he has no doubt the park was targeted.
"I've been battling myself with that a lot, 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 with yourself every day and realize what you've destroyed and how many people that you've hurt in the process," he said.
According to Benavidez, the ABPCVF will have to raise money to afford the cost of repairs.
Donations for repairs can be sent to Avondales Boone Pueblo County Veterans Foundation PO Box 314, Avondale, CO 81022