A memorial to a Riverton solider who was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan was vandalized in Riverton’s Veterans Park. The damage was discovered today.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, a 23-year veteran of the Army and the right-hand man to the Fort Carson, Colo., 4th Brigade Combat Team’s commander in Afghanistan, died when two insurgents detonated vests laden with explosives in Kunar province in August of 2012. He was 45.*
The memorial erected in his honor sat on the south side of the memorial park.
The vandal or vandals broke the bronze monument at its thinnest point, the rifle barrel, leaving only a pair of bronze boots behind. Taken was the rife and helmet and, presumably, a set of dog tags.
The Riverton Police announced the vandalism on its Facebook Page:
“Monday is fast approaching and many will have the day off in honor of Veteran’s day.”
“Veteran’s day, a period when the whole nation attempts to slow down to remind people to honor and respect those who have served. Whether it’s a hand shake, a warm baked cookie or a ceremony; each veteran I have ever met seems bashful at the acknowledgement and gratitude. They sacrifice so much, sometimes all to protect this nation, it’s people, and our freedom. There is a memorial out behind city hall, a special and respected space called Veteran’s Park and recently it was vandalized and damaged. You can easily spot the difference in these photos, a purposeful act of disrespect to not only the monument but also to those who have served.”
“If you notice your roommate laughing about their new decoration, or spot the piece of this statute in someone’s yard please give us a call. We would like to chat with the individuals responsible.”
*Paragraph Courtesy Colorado Springs Gazette