The Duncan Banner

Local News

March 26, 2013

Stolen soldier statue saddens local veterans

DUNCAN — Just a few crumbles of concrete, that is all that remains of the statue of a soldier meant to represent and look over Duncan’s fallen heroes.

Area veterans involved with the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and Honor Guard are creating a memorial garden behind the VFW building, 2012 N. U.S. Highway 81. To dedicate it, they planned a ceremony for 10 a.m. April 6.

Unfortunately, the ceremony will have a slight damper. Along with a wooden archway and crosses, each bearing the name of a fallen soldier from Duncan from World War II to present, a four-foot statue of a soldier was supposed to be there.

“It is going to be a big ceremony for everyone in order to show that you don’t just honor veterans on a certain day,” said Tim Zinn, DAV commander. “That’s why I didn’t choose to do it on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, because they should be honored every day of the year.”

Zinn said he saw the figure at 7:30 p.m. Saturday but when he showed up Monday morning, it was gone. One of the VFW bartenders said she saw it when she left at 2 a.m. Sunday after closing. Others reported that they hadn’t seen the statue on Sunday around 11 a.m.

“It was one of a kind in this area because I had bought the last one in existence,” said Zinn. “Right now it’s irreplaceable.”

The statue was purchased at Patio Casa in Marlow for about $500-600. They do not have any more of its kind and won’t be able to order another one until about six months from now. Zinn hopes to replace the one that was stolen if it can’t be found, however, the original statue put the DAV donation funds at a low point.

“It’s not the money, it’s the principal of what the statue stood for because these people (fallen soldiers) died protecting the freedom of the very people who stole it,” Zinn said. “They gave their all and this was something to honor them and for someone to walk in here to do this, it’s unbelievable.”

The statue weighs an estimated 700-800 pounds and chips of concrete were found at the back of the VFW building where it was waiting to be moved to its permanent position in the garden. Zinn is now afraid that even if the figure is found, it will be destroyed from the unauthorized move.

Zinn had shown up Monday morning expecting to dig a spot to pour cement into in order put the statue in its permanent spot. The veterans had Gloria Leal of Duncan to paint it to look like a modern-day soldier in camouflage in order to make it seem like a real person standing there. It took her two weeks to finish the project.

“This was very near and dear to my heart because I lost a lot of good friends to war and I don’t feel they should be dishonored this way,” said Zinn. “I want it known to everyone that someone with no honor and no dignity had the nerve to do this to a veterans organization and to fallen heroes.”

The dedication ceremony will still happen and is open to the public. Zinn will be running the program. Planned speakers and representatives include the wives of currently deployed soldiers and soldiers from Fort Sill. After the dedication, hot dogs and hamburgers will be served.

“Anyone in Duncan who has a relative who was killed in action and whose name is not in Memorial Park, we can put their name on a cross here,” Zinn said. “We’re also putting in some park benches so people can sit for reflection.”

If you have any information regarding the missing statue, call the Duncan Police Department at 580-255-2112.

Text Only
Local News
  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014

  • Empire water removal proposal withdrawn

    A rural water district has canceled its application to withdraw up to 7.8 million gallons of additional water after Empire residents protested their private wells might run dry if that much groundwater was taken.
    A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board said Tuesday the application for groundwater rights was withdrawn by Fox Engineering Inc., an Ardmore firm that works as a consultant for Rural Water District No. 3.

    April 16, 2014

  • Man stabbed at water treatment plant

    A 50-year-old man who said was approached by three males was stabbed and cut several time at the Duncan Water Treatment Plant, police said Tuesday.
    The attack took place around 9 p.m. Monday on the south side of the treatment plant office where two men forced the victim against a wall and a third man attacked him, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Maundy Thursday services reflect on night before crucifixion

    Maundy Thursday, the night before the crucifixion that some Chrisitians refer to as “Holy Thursday,” will be recognized with special services in some Duncan churches.
    The day is celebrated in recognition of the Last Supper and a foot washing ceremony that took place before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    April 16, 2014

  • jimmyseggstore.jpg Jimmy’s Egg set to open June 9

    A new Jimmy’s Egg restaurant will open in Duncan on June 9 and will begin interviewing job applicants later this month, the restaurant’s general manager said on Tuesday.
    The restaurant will seat about 150 and will employ 33 people, said Libby Shirra, the new general manager.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo