CaughtFrom: "Bruce K. Melson" <email@example.com>
ARTHUR -- Nine young people must watch "Saving
Private Ryan" and read "The
Greatest Generation" after pleading guilty to vandalizing a
Judge Charles Carver also ordered the nine to write 1,000-word essays due Dec.
7, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
punishment was handed down Monday as part of a plea bargain worked out in
cooperation with local veterans.
said he hoped the teens ultimately would learn about "the sacrifices of
American soldiers in defense of your freedom."
could have received a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail.
didn't want to destroy these kids' lives by sending them to the penitentiary.
We wanted to show them we are a compassionate generation, too," said Herb
Stafford, a Veterans of Foreign Wars post commander.
than $45,000 in damage was done to Golden
Triangle Veterans Memorial Park during February, including the
removal of plaques carrying the names of veterans who served during World
War I, World
War II, Korea, Vietnam
and Desert Storm.
of 14 concrete benches in the park were toppled, and a pane of glass in the
top of a fighter jet cockpit was shattered. A window was broken in a
helicopter, and its door was torn off and stolen.
of the damage has been repaired.
guilty in July to criminal mischief charges were Seth James Hanson, Brian
Andrew Rogers, Robin Lee Middlebrooks, Brendi Olene Barnes, Brad
Edward Wiegand, Curt Alan Lucia and Eric Ridley, all 18 years old; Justin
Ridley Cruse, 17; and Mark Adam Segura, 19.
who told the nine that veterans are not "just a bunch of old
people," also ordered them to serve two years' probation, apologize to
veterans who helped build the memorial 10 years ago, pay a $500 fine and
perform 400 hours of community service.
of probation could result in jail time.
Greatest Generation," is Tom
Brokaw's book about the generation of Americans that dealt with World
War II. "Saving
Private Ryan," the blockbuster movie about the war, opens
with the brutally realistic storming of Omaha
Beach on D-Day.
other young people, ages 15 and 16, were prosecuted as juveniles in the
vandalism. Stafford said they also were ordered to read the book and watch the
the defendants were students or recent graduates of Bridge City High School.