Vandals targeted the Vietnam Memorial in the Las Cruces Veteran's Memorial Park, meant to honor the hundreds of New Mexicans who died serving their country in the Vietnam War.
J. Joe Martinez was heartbroken to see the memorial he designed with his wife, Arlene, desecrated.
"We sat down on our dining room table that night and designed this memorial," Martinez told ABC-7.
Photos of Arlene's father and uncle are even on the wall.
The $300,000 memorial was funded by the state, city and other groups. Vandals also vandalized the military helicopter hovering over the memorial, shattering its glass.
Four letters also vanished from the message stating "Vietnam War Memorial - Heroes Never Thanked."
"Now that we've taken the time to let them know that they were worthwhile and we do appreciate what they went through, somebody has the audacity to open up all those wounds again by doing this," said Arlene.
The couple told ABC-7 the vandalism won't last for long. "They can blow this thing up and it will be rebuilt," they said.