Indiana military recruiter offers to sign teen vandals up after Christmas decor destroyed

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GREENWOOD (December 15, 2015) – A recruiter with the Indiana Army National Guard has an offer for three young vandals who ruined his home Christmas decorations.

Over the weekend, Staff Sergeant Rex Martindale discovered that the inflatable military Santa that had been standing in front of his house in the 600 block of Loon Lane had been cut up and deflated. His decorative laser light had also been kicked across his front yard. Martindale reviewed the video feed from his home security camera. The video showed what appeared to be three juveniles running through his yard. One of the teens is seen kicking over the lights while a second appears to stab the inflatable Santa with some kind of object.

Martindale says the Santa had special meaning for him, given his 15 years in military service.

“I was out shopping with my family and I saw Santa Claus there in a military uniform, and I thought oh I’ve got to have that,” Martindale said.

Martindale says he understands that teens do dumb things sometimes, but the vandalism was upsetting to his 9 and 12 year old girls.

“I was extremely angered,” Martindale said. “I was like ‘Man, are you serious?’ Because it wasn’t just about me, it was about my kids and the family.”

Martindale believes he may have encountered one of the vandals a short time after the incident. He says he drove around his neighborhood looking for groups of teens walking around. He spoke to one teen who roughly matched the appearance of one from the video. When Martindale asked the teen about the incident, he says the teen denied involvement.

Several days later, Martindale says he has an offer for the vandals who seem to have extra energy to burn.

“Don’t go down the criminal path,” Martindale said. “Go down a path that has benefits like joining the National Guard. Use the energy you have for something good. I will even personally assist you in joining just call me 812-447-9751.”