VA Investigating Missouri Patio Apparently Built Out Of Military Headstones

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OZARK COUNTY, Mo. (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH) — The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports a patio and staircase apparently built out of military gravestones at a property in southern Missouri has sparked a firestorm of criticism on social media.

Navy veteran Ed Harkreader of Mountain Home, Ark., posted photographs of the arrangement on Facebook last week. The post triggered scores of outraged comments and was shared thousands of times.

“This isn’t the way you should use military headstones,” Harkreader told the Post-Dispatch in a telephone interview Monday. “This is disrespectful of military veterans.”

Harkreader, 55, said he served in the Navy for 22 years. He said he heard about the use of the stones from a friend and drove the short distance from his home in Arkansas to the property in Ozark County, Mo. The property is near Lake Norfork just north of the Missouri-Arkansas line.

To read the rest of the story on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website, click here.

8 comments

  • Darleen Abdon Seaman

    I realize this is very disrespectful. I do wonder if the person who laid these stones used his own marble and own stone and carved the names himself, to Honor Our Military? He has laid the stones very careful, and it almost looks like he was making a memorial. Were these headstones stolen? I can’t find anything on the one who has laid the stones, and what is his or her reason. Does anyone know?

  • Beverly Cumbie Sinkuler

    I wonder if they were mess ups? Some are still blank, and some are halfway done (notice the one that’s got just a cross). I wonder if he purchased old marble/granite, and used it to lay his patio. It’s still kind of odd. But may be a legitimate answer out there still.

    • Margy Sha

      That was exactly my first thought. The guy was probably a headstone maker and kept all the ones that were not carved correctly. Recently, there was an article (not vet related) but a couple purchased a home and they found a bunch of headstones in the overgrown back yard. Investigators came in and discovered that some previous owners were headstones carvers and kept the ones that were not carved correctly.

  • Kate Harper

    it seems more like a memorial than disrespectful. that said, I would expect at least an investigation into if those are REAL headstones or if he just copied real ones he had seen, or if he made up the names to create this. If they are real it should be checked into if these families actually gave him permission to use them, I notice some spouse names that don’t have death dates, and if they aren’t real headstones themselves it needs to be checked if these are real names and if he, again, asked the families permission to use the names. either way, it still looks to me like a memorial. now if they were stacked into a pile halfa**-like or made into an anti-American statue of some sort than hell yeah it’d be disrespectful… but this looks similar to what folks do with bricks in parks, the memorial ones where folks pay to get a name of a loved one written on a brick that’s placed into a sidewalk. this does need better maintained but idk…?

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