VFW Commander says antique rifles used for veterans’ funerals were stolen

“It took us a long time to get the rifles, first of all. It took us even longer to get the ammunition. Now the rifles are gone.”

SAN ANTONIO – A Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander is looking for two people accused of stealing several antique rifles used in veteran funeral ceremonies.

Two men wearing caps and masks used tools to break open a steel door at VFW Post 8397, located in the 2500 block of W. Southcross, according to the commander at the post.

Commander Cris Vieyra said the men smashed the security system and pushed the safe off of its bolts. Inside the safe was 10 World War II-era M-1 rifles used for the three-volley salute.

“It took us a long time to get the rifles, first of all. It took us even longer to get the ammunition. Now the rifles are gone,” Vieyra said.

Vieyra said they took off with the safe in less than 10 minutes.

“They were very professional. There were no amateurs. Nothing that you would see in everyday people,” Vieyra said.

Vieyra said he feels violated. VFW Post 8397 is a community space for over 100 veterans and provides groceries to 250 families in the neighborhood.

While fixing the damage will be expensive, Vieyra said fallen veterans’ families will lose the most.

“All of this has been taken away from them. We have a funeral in 10 days, but we have no tools in which to provide those honors and closure for the family who has lost their veteran,” Vieyra said.

KSAT has requested the police report from San Antonio police, but they have not yet responded.


About the Authors:

Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.