Marine Chris Van Etten, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, returned to his family's Illinois home just in time for the holidays, after spending half a year at a Californian rehabilitation center.
But the injured lance corporal received a message Christmas Eve that was not very merry.
Someone spray-painted racial slurs on and threw raw eggs at the Van Etten's house, likely as the family slept.
The offensive language found in the graffiti is usually used to disparage African-Americans. But something does not add up, however, because the Van Etten family is Caucasian, explained O’Fallon police Capt. Mark Berry.
Nevertheless, Van Etten's mother is upset that anyone would vandalize the house with such hateful messages.
"There`s not a hateful bone in my body. So to have what was spray-painted, it hurts," Janet Leigh told Fox-affiliate KTVI. "And it hurts that it was now. It's such a joyous occasion. Not that it's changed it any, but it still kind of put a little bit of a damper on it to wake up one morning (and) have that there so randomly and so hurtfully."
But she is trying to focus on how lucky she feels that her son was even alive for Christmas.
"I'm very fortunate," she said. "I remember the few moments I thought he was actually dead. And to have him be alive to only have it be his legs after everything I have seen the last six months. We're blessed."
Van Etten was critically injured from a roadside bomb explosion — which killed his best friend. Lance Cpl. T.J. Baune from Minnesota — while on night patrol June 13.
This just goes to show how crazy people are. Congratulations to the Van Etten family on getting their son home safely. Major props to them all for enduring that struggle so gracefully, especially Chris!
And for the haters who sprayed that graffiti… GTFOHWTBS!!!