COLLEGEDALE, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) – A park dedicated to memory of local heroes has been desecrated by vandals.

Vandals hit Veterans Memorial Park in Collegedale. Plaques, tanks and monuments were covered in graffiti, leaving Public Works crews to clean up the mess.

The suspects hit the park sometime Tuesday night, and many in the community, especially veterans, are furious something like this could happen.

"It's not just our veterans that love the park, it's the whole community. People come to our community to take advantage of our greenway, to visit and pay respect to our Veterans Park," says Collegedale Police Lieutenant James Hardeman.

But vandals were not respecting the park Tuesday night when someone spray-painted plaques, monuments and even a bridge on Ooltewah Ringgold Road.

Crews spent hours trying to remove the graffiti.

Public Works Foreman Ted Meyer couldn't believe what he saw Wednesday morning when he walked into the park. A place that pays tribute to Veterans like him was now defaced.

"I was very upset, very upset, that someone would come in here and destroy property like this. They just don't care," Meyer says.

From the park to the greenway, and even a nearby Rite Aid, the vandals tagged almost everything they could.

Collegedale Police believe the vandals are kids.

They even left behind the empty cans of spray paint.

But now police are faced with the task of finding who is responsible for trying to destroy what so many veterans and residents hold dear.

"It's very frustrating because our organization has put forth much effort to build this community the nicest veterans park in the state of Tennessee, and for someone to come in here and to pay no respect to our veterans and vandalize it is very heart breaking," Lt. Hardeman.

Investigators say these kinds of cases are very hard to prosecute.

The suspect must either be caught in the act, or witnesses must come forward.

So if you have any information on this case, contact the Collegedale Police Department. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 698-3333.