By Charles Benson and Samara Sodos. CREATED Jul 7, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 15, 2014
DODGE COUNTY - Disgrace and dishonor at a Dodge County cemetery. Thieves stole brass military markers from dozens of veterans' graves. And what's worse, it happened over the 4th of July weekend.
"We're honoring the veterans, that's what it's for," said Oakwood Cemetery Manager Russell Kottke.
Kottke got the call Sunday morning from a veteran's family that noticed markers were missing from the Beaver Dam cemetery. The markers hold small American flags.
"And that to me is a big disgrace to the veterans here, that they took these," said Kottke.
The cemetery manager thinks 40 to 50 markers were stolen from the graves of vets from World Wars One and Two and Korean War.
"Since it was the July Fourth weekend, a time that we should be celebrating our independence and honoring those who fought so that we could have the freedom that we do, I'm just appalled," said Dodge County Sheriff Patricia Ninmann.
The military markers cost between $25 and $35. Whoever stole them may try to cash them in for a couple of hundred bucks at a pawn or scrap shop for their bronze and brass value. Replacing them will cost two thousand dollars.
"We've been in contact with the local pawns shops as well as scrap dealers," said Sheriff Ninmann, 'to let them know that this has occurred and contact us right away and they are usually pretty good."
The markers can be replaced but the cemetery manager is hoping someone will realize what they did and return them.
"The veterans, they served the country they have that recognition and now somebody disgraced them by taking them away," said Kottke.