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Only on ABC-7: Cemetery dumps military headstones due to typos, errors

Military headstones seen dumped by a cemetery shed have typos and other errors, cemetery employees said.

A Las Cruces woman wanted to know why the headstones were laying behind a shed surrounded by trash at Masonic Cemetery.

Lisa Cartee reached out to ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom looking for answers. She said she called Masonic’s office several times but was unable to get a hold of any one.

Cartee said she believes the headstones, strewn in plain site, show disrespect to those who died serving our country.

“How could someone be so disrespectful who gave their life for our country? Who went out and didn’t think twice about fighting for our freedom and our rights. And now they’re just being disrespected and thrown to the side?” Cartee said.

Masonic Cemetery’s manager, Peggy Wood, arrived at the cemetery during ABC-7’s interview with Cartee. She said the headstones have mistakes, including typos, misspellings and wrong dates, all made by the Veterans Affairs department.

“Now if we were more put together, if this was the only thing on our list, we would have a nice little shed and put all the mistakes in and they would pile up and they would pile up and they would be unseen,” Wood said. “This is our mistake but it does not come out of any kind of disrespect.”

She said they fell behind on their work because they don’t have enough time or resources. Although, she added accepting volunteers to help out would be a liability issue. Wood apologized and said she would clean up the area as soon as Tuesday evening.

Then, the two women hugged. Wood added that her personal phone number is on the front door of the office, and if anyone ever has any concerns they can call her.

Watch Jamie Warren’s story and the emotional exchange tonight on ABC-7 at 6.

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