Thieves target vet flag holders at cemeteries

Seneca County Veterans Service Commission Executive Director J.M. McAuliffe reported that several Seneca County cemeteries have been targets for those stealing veteran’s flag holders and markers.

In the past year, Fairmont Cemetery in Tiffin and Bethel Cemetery in McCutchenville have been hit.

“The way it is right now, we could put a hundred markers out there and tomorrow, that same hundred are going to be gone,” he said. McAuliffe also said that with a change in the law, junkyards no longer can accept the medallions from the cemeteries and now thieves are stealing the rods. Because of the frequency of thefts, the commission is unable to replace them.

“We will continue to issue flagholders for deaths that occur now,” said McAuliffe.

He also said that all veterans who have not looked into the Veteran’s Affairs medical system should find additional information on the system.

“Even though they may have been turned down … 10 or 15 years ago, try it again, because the rules change,” he said. Since the program is income-based, McAuliffe said requirements can change from year to year.

Any Vietnam veteran who has documented in-country service will be accepted into the system.

New veterans can receive free VA medical care for up to five years for any condition that is potentially service connected.

Transportation to the VA clinic in Toledo is scheduled for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every weekday. Transportation to the medical center in Ann Arbor is scheduled for 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. To contact the office for transportation, call (419) 443-7949.

McAuliffe also wanted to clarify information concerning veteran identification cards the office is to issue.

“Some people think we’re only going to be issuing these things one time, on Thursday,” he said. “This is going to be an ongoing project.”

The board has ruled that only those who meet the Veteran’s Affairs guidelines for veteran status will receive veteran identification cards.

Cards will be issued by appointment only.

To schedule an appointment, call Matthew Prezlin at (419) 447-2885, option 6. For more information, call the commission or visit its website at