Is there redemption for a teenager who defaced a war memorial?

 
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Is there redemption for a teenager who defaced a war memorial?

Sort of a loaded question in the title, and I'm not even sure how I would answer it.  

But here's part of the story:

DANVILLE — Jared Vance was 18 when he and friends took spray paint cans and defaced the All Wars Memorial in Danville, angering hundreds in the veterans community. On Thursday night, he stood in front of about 100 of those same people, and apologized.

“I recognize that my wrongful actions damaged not only the All Wars Memorial, but something valuable and sacred and important to all of you,” Vance said.

Dressed in a dark sweater in slacks, his dark hair in a bun, Vance, himself an Eagle Scout, mostly looked down during his three-minute apology. The audience filled with veterans groups, some bearing their military insignia, were silent during his speech but applauded when he was done. Some went to shake his hand afterward, several hugged him.

Here is the apology itself:

I'm befuddled that a kid who attained the rank of Eagle Scout could do something so completely idiotic.

At least for those present, they appeared to appreciate his apology:

“It must have been very difficult for you to come here tonight,” said Bill Picton, the president of the All Wars Memorial board. “And in doing so, I believe you’ve taken a very significant step toward becoming the man we hope and believe you will be.”  [,,,]

Gary Sponseller, a Vietnam War veteran and member of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, said he was satisfied with the apology.

“I’m not one that believes in restorative justice, but if it can save one person and put him on the right path, then that’s good,” he said.

He also suggested Vance could benefit from the structure of joining the military himself.

I have to agree with Gary here, that the military might do this kid some good.

I'm the last person in the world to say that you can't find redemption after stupid acts, Lord knows as a kid I acted like a jackass more times than I care to admit.  But what do y'all think?  It seems to me that the punishment here is exactly the kind of thing that the judicial system should be doing.  Not just punish the young man, but make him see why it hurt the veterans so much by having him volunteer with them.

For my part, I wish him well, and hope that he can atone for this one horrifically misguided act.  But I can also appreciate others who might not be as forgiving.

Posted in the burner | 6 comments
 
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Comments

First he should be shot in the head with 6 rounds from a 357 magnum....then hug him.

Are you serious?!!! As a vet I don't condone what he did but your solution is a little to much don't you think?

Its obvious his parents found a way to get him his Eagle Scout, and shows how the value of that award has been diminished by even the person who attained that status! Strip him of the rank.

Unreal and unbelievable things happening within our nation. Loss of respect for the flag, national anthem, national day of prayer, etc.. This is sick. Should be mandatory that every male over 18 serve 2 years in the service or police force within our country. Get their thinking straight, it has been eroded and corrupted.........

I think working in a Veteran's Home, or VA clinic might do this kid some good. Maybe some of our old and new warrior's courage and sacrifice might rub off on this kid.

Eagle Scout? Time to ante up kid.

This young man made a big mistake and after being caught came to realize that his actions hurt a lot of people including myself. Believe me as a veteran I don't condone what he did but at lease he had the guts to apologize to the veterans and is making restitution for what he did, where are his friends? In my opinion I think he should enlist in the military and maybe then he will really realize the impact it has on veterans.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.