A 93-year-old great grandfather and former Marine who earned a Purple Heart for his service in World War II is outraged and disgusted after vandals broke into his home Monday and sprayed graffiti on everything.
The Houston-area house he built 55 years ago and shared with his wife until her recent death now has graffiti on the walls, furniture, windows, and even artwork.
“I never heard of anything like this before,” Elbert Wood said, looking at his life’s possessions.
If he’d been home when the crooks broke in, Wood said, “I’d have tried to kill ‘em.”
Two of the suspects were caught just down the street with red paint on their hands, spray can caps in their pockets and stuff stolen from Wood’s home. One teen admitted to breaking into the house, but claims he didn’t vandalize it.
“What can I say? I didn’t spray paint his house,” he said.
Turns out the suspects in custody are just 13 and 16 years old. We can’t release their names because they are juveniles.
One of them started crying when Wood’s son and daughter-in-law showed up at the scene.
Wood’s daughter-in-law, Diane Wood, said, “They just wanted to apologize. They were very upset.”
But in all honesty, Wood clarified, he’d rather just see some old-school discipline.
Asked what he would do if he could lay his hands on the vandals, Wood said: “I’d try to spank them as hard as I could.”
Wood still has shrapnel in his leg from the war, the Associated Press adds, and though he was shot and hospitalized for a year after his first tour overseas, he still went back for a second tour.
The war hero still managed to look on the bride side of things. “They redecorated for me,” he joked.
According to KHOU, there has been an outpouring of support in the community, with neighbors and strangers alike offering to help clean up.
Watch Wood’s entire interview via KHOU, below: