Vandal Targets Army Billboard With ‘No Respect’ Message

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A vandal has struck again in Des Moines.

On Sunday, someone spray painted “No Respect” on an Army recruitment billboard along NE 14th Street. The message originally printed on the billboard read "Earn Respect."

Frank Cordaro, founder of the group Des Moines Catholic Worker, said a Christian political artist is responsible for the spray painted words. Cordaro sent Channel 13 the following statement from the anonymous person behind the message, highlighting the vandalism and saying the suspect is protesting the use of drones by the Iowa National Guard:

"As long as Iowa continues to accept being part of an active war zone through the Drone Command Center, there can be 'No Respect' for serving in the military in the state of Iowa. Our Iowa Drone Command Center connects Iowa to war crimes committed every day." 

At the beginning of the month, another Army billboard was vandalized with a message reading, "Drones Kill."

Cordaro said, "It’s not a soldier that sits an a computer stall in Des Moines and kills people from space, gets in their car, and then goes out and buys groceries at Hy-Vee."

Airmen use remotely-piloted aircraft that are armed with hellfire missiles and 500-pound bombs.

"They provide intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance, and they provide that sort of information to commanders that are making decisions that affect people that are on the ground,” said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Wunn of the Iowa National Guard.

Justin Epper works at Nehring, and could see the vandalized billboard from his desk before it was removed.

"If you’re hoping to effect some sort of change or get a message out, there's many other ways that you can do that," he said.

The Army says it respects the opinion of whoever is responsible and asks for the same respect in return.