Officials at Fort Hood have launched an investigation after a soldier's car was vandalized and defaced with a racial slur at the Killeen, Texas, military base just two days before Christmas.
According to the Killeen Daily Herald, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan Charlot was getting ready to leave Killeen for Houston, his hometown, for the Christmas holiday when he got a call that his vehicle, a 2009 Nissan Sentra, had been vandalized. Charlot said that he originally thought it would be something minor, but what he discovered turned out to be much worse.
Along with the slur “Die [n—ger],” all four of Charlot's tires had been slashed; the car had also been broken into and gasoline poured all over the inside.
“It makes me feel disgruntled, unwanted—that the America I love isn’t the same anymore,” Charlot told KDH. “It’s disheartening, if you will. It’s an older car and was having some issues, so it had been sitting there for a while.”
Fort Hood's Criminal Investigation Division has the vehicle while the incident is under investigation.
One of Charlot's friends, John Martinez, started a GoFundMe Page to help the soldier and has raised $4,400 of a $10,000 goal over the past 10 days.
“My best friend is a soldier in the U.S. Army and has worked extremely hard to protect our freedom,” Martinez wrote on the campaign description. “My best friend is one of the kindest and most generous people you will ever meet.
“Although racism still exists in this country, I never thought I would realize this kind of hatred personally,” Martinez added. “I can’t imagine the emotions my best friend is experiencing, but my hope is to raise enough money for him to purchase a new vehicle since his insurance will not cover such an incident.”
Read more at the Killeen Daily Herald.