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CROWN POINT — While surveying the grounds of the Historic Maplewood Cemetery last week, manager Tom Hawes came across the vandalized statue of a once-solid U.S. soldier honoring those who have served in Iraq. 

Part of the bronze man's rifle had been removed. Hawes was immediately taken aback.

"Who would do such a thing?" the 72-year-old said. "It’s a disgrace to do that to a military statue."

'It's a disgrace': Soldier statue vandalized in Crown Point cemetery, manager says

A statue of a soldier was vandalized in Crown Point's Historic Maplewood Cemetery sometime last week. 

Hawes, who reported the incident to police, said the missing portion of statue cannot be recast. So, if that piece isn't found or returned, a new soldier will have to be purchased to replace the one that currently stands in the middle of Veterans Memorial Walkway.

"I don't have $2,000 to buy a new one," Hawes said.

And this isn't the first time the 6-foot soldier has been vandalized.

Hawes said the tip of the rifle was removed about two years ago. A local community member helped him apply a temporary replacement at the time, but now it and a portion of the barrel are missing. 

“I know people don’t like guns, but that’s what protects us," Hawes said.

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A day or so before Hawes found the vandalized soldier, he came across a broken convenience outlet which is attached to a short light post that illuminates several flag poles. Someone had kicked it. Hawes said it'll cost him $72 to fix.

'It's a disgrace': Soldier statue vandalized in Crown Point cemetery, manager says

A convenience outlet was vandalized in Crown Point's Historic Maplewood Cemetery sometime last week. The broken outlet is attached to a short light post that illuminates several flag poles.

Since becoming manager of the cemetery in 1996, Hawes said he has seen vandals destroy various items in the cemetery and he remains confused each time.

"It's a shame," Hawes said. "I just don't get it." 

If the part of the statue isn't returned, Hawes said he plans to organize a fundraiser in order to procure a new one. And if that's the case, he also plans to have it placed higher up to "remove any temptation."

Anyone with information on the missing piece or vandalism at the cemetery is asked call Hawes at 219-663-5581.

Check back at nwi.com for updates as this story develops.

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Morning Cops/Breaking News Reporter

Olivia is the morning cops/breaking news reporter at The Times. She spends her time monitoring traffic and weather reports, scanning crime logs and reading court documents. The Idaho native and University of Idaho grad has been with The Times since 2019.