Soldier cars trashed: 'I got real angry and I still am'
LEBANON, Ore. - In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23rd, eleven soldiers' personal vehicles at an Oregon Army National Guard motorpool lot had their windows smashed and their cars ransacked.
The soldiers belonged to the Alpha Troop 1-82nd Cavalry unit in Lebanon.
Troop Staff Sargeant John Parsons says the vandalism was reported to Lebanon police Monday morning by an employee at a neighboring business.
Parsons says there is several thousand dollars worth of damage, pointing out one vehicle with the front windshield knocked out, "That piece alone without the molding is worth $1,000, and there's eleven of them."
"This one here, this is a brand new private," Parsons said, while pointing to the vehicle. "This was his first real training with the Guard, and he parks his truck here and his truck's destroyed. This is a kid from Sweet Home. I know his family, great kid. You know, he never did anything to deserve this."
Many of the victim's families have driven to the site from all over the state, some even from Washington. "They're upset! I mean you know, my commander's wife came up this morning and she was in tears, and their vehicle was barely damaged, just a small window. But, just look at some of the other ones, you know, it's heartbreaking."
The senseless acts of violence are not going unnoticed.
Parsons says he's received over 100 phone calls offering support.
A local company, A-Plus Auto Glass, has offered discounted vehicle windows and free installation. Linn County has also donated some support. "The community has stepped up huge," Parsons said.
Lebanon Police are calling the acts "vengeful."
Parsons pointed to multiple vehicles of windows that were broken, but nothing appeared to be stolen. Car manuals were torn on the front seats and garbage littered about the car, but pricier items like stereos were mostly untouched or dismantled out, but not taken.
Parsons is upset and confused. "I got real angry and I still am. I'm pretty emotional, but just the sadness and the anger that this stuff would be destroyed like this for, for no reason."
If you have any information about the case, contact Lebanon Police Department.
For those who wish to donate to repairs for the vehicles can do so via the Alpha Troop NCO Fund at Linn-Co Federal Credit Union.