It's a monument to veterans and one of the most recognizable symbols of one community, but Clarksville's Dough Boy statue has continually been vandalized. Next week, a vote could determine whether the city will spend thousands on repairing the statue and moving it away from vandals.
The Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department is asking the city council to amend their budget to allow them the funds to repair and move the Dough Boy. Parks and Recreation officials said they have $9,500 for the project now, but they're going to need an additional $7,500.
"To see something like this happen repeatedly, it's very frustrating," said Mark Tummons of Clarksville Parks and Recreation. "I think it's very frustrating to most citizens in our community."
For the regulars at the Clarksville Transit Center, each day's full of familiar faces and taking off on time. In the midst of a day-to-day familiar routine, some regulars said they hate the one big change they see, the vandalism of the Dough Boy.
"It has to do with the history," said Jennifer Whittemore. "Anything that has to do with the statue, I believe you should respect it."
"People who vandalize these things have no conscience apparently," added Tony Carter. "What's the use? You're not getting anything out of it."
First unveiled in 1929, the Dough Boy is dedicated to the local soldiers and sailors who fought in World War I.
"My dad was in the military for 33 years," said Carter. "We live in military neighborhoods, so there's a connection with that statue, if you will."
Since the statue moved to Legion Street in 2010, vandals have broken off one of the hands and stolen a rifle the statue carried.
"A few citizens really took control to clean the Dough Boy a few years back," said Tummons. "It's very frustrating, absolutely frustrating. Can we put it somewhere, perhaps indoors, that will still have a good public viewing? It should be a nice spot but be a little more protective."
Parks and Recreation officials said they're unclear on where the new Dough Boy statue could be moved. The Public Arts Commission will be discussing that in the weeks to come.
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