Veteran receives garden make-over surprise after vandalism

TACONY (WPVI) -- The garden of a World War 2 veteran's home has been made whole again after an episode of vandalism over the holiday weekend.

Ninety-five-year-old Dominick DeStefanis saw a front yard full of red white and blue Wednesday night, thanks to his family and the American Legion Post 735.

Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend, vandals trashed the World War 2 veteran's Tacony garden, throwing an American flag in the trash and ripping out more flags and banners.

"I was crying to see the flag in the trash bag. I was crying like a baby," World War 2 veteran Dominick DeStefanis said.

DeStefanis served three years in World War 2 in the army military police. He traveled to Africa and Italy, where he guarded prisoners and even dug graves.

"There's a lot of meaning. A lot of soldiers died for that flag," DeStefanis said.

After his family placed a phone call to State Representative Mike Driscoll's office, the legion arrived on Wednesday.

"It bothers you, it bothers you to no end really," Franny Dean of American Legion Post 735 said.

"I would love for the individual or individuals who did this to understand what they did and how wrong it was," son-in-law Joe Hendrick said.

We want to let them know that we are out here and they should be prosecuted. Someone from the 15th district will come out here and file a report and if it ever happens again, we'll be back," Patrick Obrien of American Legion Post 735 said.

A clear message for the vandals and a salute to the man they are rallying behind.

A local business has offered to put a permanent flag pole in the front yard.

The DeStefanis family took a family vote and says they'd like that very much.

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