War memorial restored after vandals cut, stole flags - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

War memorial restored after vandals cut, stole flags

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Flags have been replaced at the Jones County Courthouse after someone vandalized them earlier this week.

Vandals damaged the war memorial standing outside the courthouse causing $3,000 in damage.

Saturday, about a dozen veterans and volunteers worked to temporarily restore the memorial, just in time for Veterans Day.

"Strong breeze, it's kind of showing off, I think, that it's back," said Becky Dirks Haugsted, member of Veterans of Foreign Wars. "It's just action we knew we were going to take."

Saturday's winds made it easy to noticed the flags were back to billowing.

Sometime between Monday night and early Tuesday morning, vandals cut and defaced eight flags, including the American flag, leaving just jagged scraps behind.

"To believe that someone would do something like that, it's just unreal," said veteran Jim Caswell. "You don't deserve to be in this country and deface the flags that we fought for. We fought for those flags and all those people there died for this country."

Caswell takes care of the flags on the grounds of the Jones County Courthouse.

He says just hours after word got out about the memorial being damaged, support from individuals and organizations started coming in.

"Within two hours, I was in the process of gathering more flags and getting flag poles," said Caswell.

Senator Charles Grassley is one of those who've donated a flag to that war memorial

Caswell says they still have to replace five of the flag poles because the vandals bent them.

"We couldn't let it sit, we had to have it ready for our veterans for our community for Veterans Day," said Dirks Haugsted.

Jones County deputies are still investigating and looking for who is behind it all.

They ask anyone with information to call them (319) 462-4371.

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