The Parker County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident where the grave of Vietnam War U.S. Air Force veteran Donnie Wright was defaced in the Veal Station Cemetery.
On Sunday, Linda Wright visited the grave to put flags up for Veterans Day and discovered the bronze foot stone, which included her husband’s name, title and date of birth, had been removed from the granite slab it was attached to. Wright reported the crime to the sheriff’s office.
Wright said her brother-in-law had noticed that the foot stone was missing when he visited on Nov. 1.
Upon investigating, PCSO deputies found the military grave marker across from Wright’s, for Civil War U.S. Army veteran Palmer Button Turner, had been damaged when someone tried to remove it. No other markers were damaged, PCSO Public Information Officer Danie Huffman said.
Deputies found one of the bolts attached to the bronze foot stone four feet from the grave and took it as evidence, Huffman said.
The offense is classified as theft of a precious metal, which is a state jail felony, Huffman said. The damage is estimated at about $2,000-$2,500.
Wright described the incident as “very, very heartbreaking.” Wright and her husband had been married for almost 43 years.
“Vietnam vets were so mistreated, and then to have that happen too was like another stab in the heart to me,” Wright said. “Don has only been gone since 2014, so it’s still a little fresh, and then to be violated, that’s just so violating to me for someone to stand over him and to be doing that stuff, just very upsetting.”
Huffman encouraged anyone with any information to contact the sheriff’s office. They can also call Crime Stoppers at 817-599-5555 to report tips anonymously.
“It’s just very disheartening to see that people who fought for our freedom would be so blatantly disrespected,” Huffman said.