Reporting Lauren Leamanczyk
EXETER, N.H. (CBS) – For the second time in a matter of months, a memorial to a Navy SEAL killed in action has been vandalized.
The granite structure sits outside the Exeter, NH pool. It was built in memory of Navy SEAL Dan Healy who was killed when his helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan. Someone smashed a ceramic picture of his face on the front of the monument.
“Seeing his face smashed like that. To see my son treated with such disrespect just killed me,” said his mother Natalie Healy.
The community raised money to build the memorial after Healy was killed in 2005. Since then, it has sat untouched outside the pool.
Then in late April, two 9-year-olds vandalized it. Now it’s happened again.
Town Manager Russell Dean says he’s looking at solutions like cameras to keep the memorial more secure.
“It’s distressing when something like this happens,” Dean told WBZ-TV. “Certainly not representative of who we are as a community here in Exeter.”
Even kids staring at the damage were in disbelief.
“My dad’s in the army and I don’t know who would do that. It’s horrible. I hope they find the guy,” said Riley Cole.
His friend Josh Grillo was emotional looking at the smashed picture.
“I was really angry,” Grillo said. “He was one of my dad’s best friends.”
Despite the hurt, Natalie says the vandals have shown her the generosity of Americans. Hours after she discovered the damage, donations came pouring in to repair it.
“It will be fixed and it will be secured and that rock will be put back and it will be made so no one can lift it up again and smash my son’s face,” she said.
Exeter Police are still looking for the vandals. They are asking the public to come forward with any information.