Veteran: Soldier statue vandalized on Memorial Day

SAN ANTONIO – A Vietnam War veteran in San Antonio is trying to figure out why someone vandalized a statue of a soldier in his front yard, breaking off its head.

Ruben Garcia had proudly displayed the 2 1/2-foot statue in his front yard in the 1200 block of Buena Vista Street for years.

The statue was vandalized around 7 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Garcia went outside and found the statue knocked off its stand. Its head was missing.

"I can't understand why they would do this to my little statue. All it's doing is just guarding the flag," he said.

The statue was hand-painted by Garcia and was placed on a concrete pedestal, secured with rebar.

It was a sentimental keepsake that caught the attention of people who passed by.

"I would always would get a thumbs-up, a smile or a peace sign and I don't know why they would do something like this and on Memorial Day," he said.

Garcia added that the blatant act of disrespect reminded him of a time just after the Vietnam War.

"We got spit on in California," he said. "When we came back from Vietnam in '68, we ... couldn't wear our uniform. So this opened old wounds," he said.

Still a proud veteran, Garcia said he plans to get a new statue but hopes the person responsible is caught.