Purple Heart Veteran Targeted By Vandals Because of His Military Service

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TUCSON KVOA – An injured veteran believes that he may have been targeted by vandals because of his military service.

He and another veteran that lives across the street received damage onto their properties by vandals in a quiet Vail neighborhood.

In one night, someone caused $14,000 in damage to the soldier’s truck. They targeted his engine and his purple heart license plate.

His custom plate said it all. DKT2L8, or “Ducked too Late.”

It was 2008 when a roadside bomb ended Chris Liby’s time with the military.

“Three tours, two Iraq, one Afghanistan, that’s where I was injured,” said Liby.

The scratches to the plate tell another story, one of vandalism, that began this past spring.

“They scratched the ‘Ford’,” said Liby, referring to the truck’s logo.

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The vandals also drained the oil out of the engine.

“I started getting on the freeway and that’s when it just exploded,” said Liby. T”he diesel mechanics think they put regular fuel in the gas tank.”

The truck needed a new engine, but the problems have persisted. The vehicle is no longer drivable.

“It was heartbreaking. I couldn’t help but cry,” he said. “It was a gift from my wife and kids. I love this thing; I’ve wanted one since before I joined the military. And my heat sunk when it happened.”

He’s been relying on his wife to get around, sharing the family’s only drivable car.

Liby said it’s been a burden on his family.

“She’s always busy, and I’ve got a lot of medical appointments,” he said.

Now, Brian Kidd, one of Liby’s good friends has set up a crowdfunding account, with the hopes of raising money for the injured veteran to fix his truck.

“It’s cold-hearted,” said Kidd. “I don’t know why somebody would do that.”

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Liby said he still doesn’t know who’s responsible for the damage. He has installed security cameras on his home, but hasn’t seen any suspicious activity since.

“What’s the point in doing this?” said Liby. “There’s no good reason to do that to anybody. I fought for your right to free speech, but you could have said it a different way. If you’re going to send a message you could have left a note.”

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department was called the day the damage was found. The case has since been closed. No arrests have been made.

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