Veterans' marker

Someone is stealing veterans' markers at a Mid-Michigan cemetery ahead of Memorial Day.

The Tuscola County Sheriff's Office was made aware of the incident by the Tuscola County Veterans Affairs Office who said it happened at Indianfields Township Cemetery.

Mark Zmierski, Tuscola County Veterans Affairs Director, said the Veteran Affairs Office is preparing for Memorial Day and discovered the markers were missing.

He said they cost about $10 a piece, and at least 30 were taken.

He said the markers are now made of tin, and not worth as much to scrappers.

"It looks just like a bronze one. They might get a penny in scrap," Zmierski said.

However, the sentimental value is priceless. Zmierski served in the Navy for 23 years and seeing the markers stolen is a slap in the face.

"It hurts and I only hope that through our conversation here and other conversations that people will show more respect," Zmierski said.

Zmierski also said the budget for the markers come out of the Tuscola County Veterans Millage, which is taxpayer funded.

"I'm totally disgusted by it. More than any other feeling, I'm disgusted," said Gail Lesoski, widow of a veteran.

Lesoski's husband Bill died when he was 42.

"He was a victim of agent orange. He died in 1990 and it's been long road since then," Lesoski said.

Lesoski is one of the people who places the markers at the cemetery to commemorate the service members.

"There's no point in stealing these for any reason," she said.

They have been able to replace the stolen flag markers so the deceased service members can still be recognized.

If you see someone with one that should not have it, please report it.

The sheriff's office said it violates Michigan law 750.387 - willful destruction of property; memorials of dead; protective or ornamental structures; trees, shrubs, or plants.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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