WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A space to help veterans was targeted by vandals after they were hit not once, but twice in two very different ways.
VFW Post 8762 in West Sacramento is looking for ways to keep their doors open after the vandalism that happened Sunday night into early Monday morning.
“We had a water fountain shooting higher than the building,” explained James Brashear, Post Commander.
Brashear found water shooting sky-high Monday morning after it had been running for seven hours straight. The water flooded parts of their building and seeped into the floors and wood, causing damage to several areas. Video shows a man walking up to the outside of the post to access their water spigot that was locked. The man can be seen on camera breaking the lock to access it and use it as a shower.
“I understand that he needs the resources, but flooding our building and doing the damage that it caused may have not been the best resource,” Brashear said.
Brashear quickly realized the damage was only one of two cases of vandalism that happened Sunday night. The first happened a couple of hours earlier, around 9:30 p.m. Security video shows a different man hoist himself up their 10-foot flag pole to steal their POW flag. According to Brashear, the man spent an hour trying to climb the pole to get the flag. Video shows the man climb up the pole and later fall to the ground in one attempt. He eventually grabs the POW flag, leaving the American Flag to fall on the ground.
“He even looked at our camera and put his hands together and made an apology to us after stealing the flag,” Brashear explained. “I want to find out why he needed it so bad, why it meant so much to him and have that conversation. I don’t have hate for him for that.”
Brashear said the man left and came back to leave a lighter with the word Marines and logo on it. The man also allegedly folded the American Flag and left it for the post to fine. Brashear does not believe the man is a veteran, because he said the flag was laid on the ground and folded incorrectly.
The vandalism is not only causing the VFW Post money, but their water shut off so they are not able to deliver free meals to veteran seniors.
“To have somebody come up and do these things to us and set us back. We were working so hard and going and doing things and helping so many people and the setback, we have to seriously now look at all of our options including closing permanently,” Brashear said.
Since the pandemic started, the post has provided more than 1,500 meals. The VFW Post is barely hanging on financially. They have lost $20,000 every month since COVID-19 closures started from loss in donations and hall rentals.
As they continue to pay bills and wait for the hefty water bill due to the vandalism, they are concerned they will not be able to cover the cost of repairs and keep the 74-year-old building open. Brashear hopes the community will help support them.
“I don’t want to say how close we are to that because it brings it real. We, unfortunately, are probably two months away from that day,” he said.