BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) — A memorial to Beaver County veterans has towered over McIntosh Square in Beaver since 1900.

But the weapons they once held have been missing for some time.

Tammy Daman Sheets, of Center Township, is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

Her friend, Sam Piccinini, is on the Rochester Township police force. His Facebook page drew attention to the fact that rifles once held by the soldiers in bronze are gone.

“I was surprised to see how many people were upset that the firearms were missing from the memorial,” he says.

“It’s very upsetting,” Tammy adds. “Because the weapon, when you first enlist in the military, it’s part of your uniform. You can’t lose it. You sleep with it. I mean, it is a vital part of your uniform.”

She discovered that the rifles were apparently removed for restoration some 20 years ago, and that’s the last time the public has seen them.

So, do they still exist, and if so, where are they?

“I have no idea,” Sam says.

But with modern technology, he says, “They make injection molded plastic replicas of just about every firearm out there. I can’t see it being that expensive to put something back in its place even if it isn’t copper or brass.”

The veteran of Desert Storm says it’s a matter of respect.

“They fought for our freedom and our rights, and we have those today because of those soldiers,” said Tammy.

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