STOUGHTON (CBS) – Mark Hausammann is familiar with sacrifice. At age 19, his fellow soldier and boyhood friend, Peter Mears, was killed by a booby trap in Vietnam.
“I made it home, live in the same town as I do now, and he didn’t,” Hausamman said.
Now, Hausammann and some other veterans claim Mears’ legacy was dishonored when a black sign stating “Killed in Action” and erected in his honor was mysteriously taken down.
Stoughton Veterans Service Officer, Mike Pazyra, says Mears’ sign was used as a template to change a blue sign for Korean War veteran, Kenneth Mokrisky, to a black “Killed in Action” sign. The problem being, Mokrisky did not die in combat.
Pazyra claims Kenneth Mokrisky’s nephew, former selectman Joe Mokrisky, ordered the department of public works to remove both signs, change his uncle’s sign, then put them both back up.
“It was just so offensive. It’s like immoral. It’s just, I described it as almost depravity,” Pazyra said.
Pazyra sent a letter to the Board of Selectmen alerting them to the sign change.
The Board of Selectmen sent their own letter to Mokrisky. It states the board “conducted an executive session” to “investigate charges of criminal misconduct.”
It also asks Mokrisky to, “appear before the Board of Selectmen at its next duly noticed public meeting to apologize to the public and to the Veterans for the actions that you took that, in the unanimous opinion of the board, were disrespectful to the Veterans killed in action.”
In a phone interview with WBZ-TV, Joe Mokrisky called the sign dispute an error and said he asked DPW to change the sign to a black sign but did not ask that it say “Killed in Action.”
“When the sign was produced by the manufacturer there was an error there,” Mokrisky said, “Never, never ever did ever I ask killed in action be put on that sign.”