Lights for vets stolen from fairgrounds

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 13, 2010

PROCTORVILLE — They weren’t expensive, those solar lights. Only about $3 a piece at a local discount store.

But to the members of the VFW Post 6878 in Proctorville, those lights placed at the Lawrence County Fair Grounds were priceless because they represented a tribute to the memory of the past members of the military organization.

“We bought 55 of them and put them in the shape of a cross for the deceased members of the post,” Post Commander Warren Napier said. “Then we had a service for them.”

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Now the question the post wants answered is: Why would anyone take them?

Members had constructed the lights in the shape of a cross outside the gates of the fairgrounds for a ceremony on Memorial Day. The next day the lights were still there shining brightly through the early evening hours.

But by 10 a.m. Wednesday when post members went to retrieve them, there were only 10 left in the ground.

“Forty-five were gone,” Napier said. “They left 10. I guess they couldn’t carry those.”

There are 153 who belong to the Proctorville post where veterans from World War II to those serving in Afghanistan are members.

“It is not so much the money,” Napier said. “It is taking away from the veterans. It was to honor the deceased, the fallen members. It is taking from the vets.”

After the Memorial Day ceremony, the plan had been to place the lights around the memorial the post recently built near its headquarters.

“The members are not very happy,” Napier said about the theft. “We don’t know who took them. Anyone could have those lights anywhere. It is a shame to steal from the vets.”