VENICE (CBSLA.com) — Dozens of volunteers came to Venice Sunday to help wipe away the handiwork of a vandal, or vandals, who desecrated a Vietnam War memorial.
The Childley family from Rancho Palos Verdes was among those who came to help out.
They told CBS2’s Greg Mills that they had a fun day planned before they heard about the vandalism but didn’t mind the unexpected detour.
“We saw this, and I’m sorry I’m getting a little choked up. And my husband said we’re going there,” said Julia Chidley.
The Chidleys were reacting to the vandal who covered up names of Americans MIA from the Vietnam War.
“This was an actual slap in the face and disgrace,” said Jon Scudder, a USMC veteran.
The wall on Pacific Avenue near Sunset Court in Venice was painted by a homeless veteran. It was Patrick Stewart’s tribute to hundreds serving out country who left to fight in Vietnam and never returned.
RELATED LINK: Vandals Deface Vietnam War Memorial In Venice
“Vandalizing the wall? It’s just not acceptable,” said Mike Washington, a US Army vet.
Mills watched as Army veteran Jose Carrera carefully cleared the names under the graffiti letter by letter.
“We have to preserve as much as we can,” said Carrera.
Mills said there were a lot of veterans among the estimated 60 people who spent a good portion of their Memorial Day weekend at the memorial.
No taggers showed up — just lots of people dedicated to making the memorial look like it used to.
“I saw [the vandalism] and it made me so upset. My grandpa fought in Vietnam. This could easily be his name,” said Melissa Hobson.
Home Depot reportedly donated the cleaning tools and supplies. The volunteers, of course, donated all their time.
Carisa Chidley planned to go bowling with friends. But helping out today she said was much more important.
“I don’t understand why someone would want to deface something like this. It’s just hateful,” said Carisa.