Vietnam memorial in Lompoc vandalized

Lompoc Vietnam Vet Memorial is...

LOMPOC, Calif. - The Lompoc Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial is tucked towards the back of River Park.

It's a place people say they come to pay their respects to people who fought in the war. However, now, the damage caused could cost thousands of dollars to fix.

"Here is some of the major floor damage,” said Donald Ramirez, National Vice Commander of the Western Region for the Songs of American Legion. 

He said he can’t believe what he sees. There are smashed tiles and plaques scuffed up at the memorial. 

"I just can’t see how someone can do that,” he said. 

Lompoc police are calling this vandalism.

Investigators said it happened overnight Saturday into Sunday at the Lompoc Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial at River Park. 

Ramirez said this is simply unacceptable especially at a place considered sacred to many in the community. 

"It means a lot to the community because it’s a place they can come to see their comrades,” he said. 

However, the damage doesn’t stop there, Ramirez says this memorial was also vandalized a few years back.

"If they could do this they have no respect for our flag, our country, because this is a part of us all the way,” he said. 

It’s that lack of respect that Ramirez said is concerning.

He said it looks like someone took a hammer to the tiles damaging them in several places.

"These are some of the people who put a lot of time to get this redone,” he said as he pointed to a plaque with names. 

A restoration project was completed at the memorial just last year.

Ramirez said it’s a place to honor the veterans who sacrificed themselves for this country.

"This is an important era, the Vietnam era, a lot of them were forgotten,” he said. 

Lompoc police say someone also tipped over trash cans and uprooted some of the park’s landscape.

"To have it destroyed and vandalized the way it was is just unacceptable,” said Sgt. Kevin Martin, with the Lompoc Police Department. 

Ramirez said it could take up to $2,500 dollars to get this all fixed.

Lompoc police say if you know who did this or have any details to give them a call. 

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