Family shocked by vandalism of fallen soldier’s monument

Posted at 11:26 PM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 23:27:13-04

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. – The family of a fallen West Michigan soldier is heartbroken after learning a memorial made for him was vandalized over the weekend.

Timothy Brown was serving in the Army overseas in 2005 when he was killed by a land mine explosion in Iraq. After he was laid to rest with full military honors, his family had the monument build at veteran’s memorial park in Cedar Springs, featuring a helmet, gun, boots, and dog tags.

“It stood up about three feet,” said Daniel Brown, Timothy’s uncle. “With a helmet on the M-16. Typical battlefield headstone. And they just snapped it off. I don’t know how. But it took a lot of effort to do it.”

A string of break-ins from the weekend saw his memorial targeted, leaving only the boots behind.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It broke my heart., said Cynthia Brown, Timothy's mom. ““It’s just sad. It’s sad. That’s the only word I can think of. We were in shock and now it’s just sad.”

The monument originally cost $10,000 and the family says they may have to raise it all over again if they can't recover the stolen items.

“It takes a lot of courage to do what they did,” Says Cynthia Brown. “They took a oath to protect this country, and they should be honored. But there are some people out there who aren’t being respectful. And it’s sad.”

They are hoping whoever stole the items from the monument will return them, so they can fix the monument for the fallen soldier.

The Kent County Sheriff's office says the Skinner Field concession stand was also targeted over the weekend, as well as several unlocked cars. They posted surveillance video of the suspects and are working to see if these incidents are connected. Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff's office at 616-632-6100 or Silent Observer 1-866-774-2345.