CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - The mother of a Chesterfield Marine killed in Iraq said she wanted to know why someone would steal a street sign that honored her slain son.
"He was a hero. He died for the freedom of this country," Brenda May said. "He died for their freedom and they had nothing better to do than to steal his sign."
May's son, Marine Staff Sgt. Donald C. May Jr., was killed in March 2003. The 32-year-old Marine was the first Virginian to die during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His tank fell off a bridge and into the Euphrates River.
In May 2012, a "Donald May Jr. Drive" street sign was placed at the Stonebridge Shopping Center on Midlothian Turnpike. The shopping center's developer honored four fallen veterans with their own street signs.
"It brought honor and tears. It made me proud. His name was supposed to be there for as long as possible, forever," May said.
This week a friend who drove by the shopping center noticed the sign was missing. It was the only sign in the shopping center that carried May's name.
"You hurt anyway from not having your child," Brenda May said. "It's just painful that someone would dishonor him like that and they dishonored me, they dishonored his children and his wife."
While Chesterfield Police and county officials investigate just what happened to the sign, county evironmental engineering officials said the shopping center's developer hoped to replace the sign in the coming weeks.
"Everyone is aware. Everyone wants to get it fixed," Chief of Administrative Services
Environmental Engineering Richard Leonard said.