We are all too familiar with the abuses visited on our military veterans, a third of whom have died waiting for medical appointments. But a report out of southern Missouri is so outrageous, so ghoulish, that it nearly eclipses the shabby treatment of veterans by the federal government.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the grisly details:
A patio and staircase apparently built out of military gravestones at a property in southern Missouri has sparked a firestorm of criticism on social media.
Navy veteran Ed Harkreader of Mountain Home, Ark., posted photographs of the arrangement on Facebook last week. The post triggered scores of outraged comments and was shared thousands of times.
“This isn’t the way you should use military headstones,” Harkreader told the Post-Dispatch in a telephone interview Monday. “This is disrespectful of military veterans.”
Harkreader, 55, said he served in the Navy for 22 years. He … took pictures and tried without success to reach the property owner.
A spokesman for the National Cemetery Administration in Washington, Chris Erbe, noted that the inspector general’s office for the Department of Veterans Affairs has heard about the outrage and is investigating. Erbe is quoted as saying, “[Military headstones] are not to be used for any kind of home improvement project.” Duh, really?
Sadly, this is not the first time this has happened. Last month a former employee of the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery pleaded guilty to federal charges for having using military grave markers to pave his carport:
- NY veteran returned to his car to find this DISGUSTING thing on it
- Report: Nearly 30% of veterans waiting for health care have died
- Veteran denied care at two VA facilities thought no one would believe him … so he filmed it
- Video: Girl Scouts use cookie cash to replace flags stolen from veterans’ graves
- Veterans Affairs improperly spent $6 billion annually, senior official says
- Unbelievable: CNN anchor blames veterans for Baltimore riots (Video)
- Veteran arrested after stopping flag-stomping protest (Video)
- Vet at wits’ end called veterans’ suicide hotline … and was put on hold