Army veteran restoring soldier memorial stolen from Youngstown - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Army veteran restoring soldier memorial stolen from Youngstown

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LAKEMORE Ohio - A bronze statue honoring our Valley's Veterans was stolen and sold for scrap. The pieces are now in the hands of an Army Veteran whose mission is to breathe new life into the solider.

Jim Critchfield has been working tirelessly at his Lakemore home, just outside of Akron, to restore the 4-foot bronze statue.

"They said it couldn't be done, I think I can do it," said Critchfield.

He hopes it will once again stand and protect those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"He's the guardian, nobody will ever take that away, nobody," said Critchfield.

In March of last year, thieves sawed the statue of the solider from it's base, which stood for decades in the cemetery at the Mahoning Valley Park on Youngstown-Hubbard Road. Valued at $36-thousand, the statue was sold for scrap. The pieces were sold by the thieves for $25.50.

"This is really terrible without these guys here we would not have a country, we would not have nothing and there we are, they are cutting them down and disgracing them," said Critchfield. "That's really wrong."

The work that remains to finish restoring the statue is no easy task. There are nine individual pieces with cracks, corrosion and missing fragments.

Critchfield is not sure when the soldier will stand again, but says repairing the soldier is the least he can do.

"People don't understand this, what's behind him is keeping our country alive," said Critchfield.







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