A swastika, racial slurs, profanity and gang references were recently found graffitied on the garage of an airman’s home at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Security forces at the base, along with the Ward County Sheriff’s Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, are investigating the incident.
The incident occurred at the on-base home of Airman 1st Class Justin Rutledge and his wife MacKenzy. The couple have lived at the home for more than a year, according to Stars and Stripes.
“This is just a little too close [for comfort] with me having a 4-month-old [son] and my husband being at work all day,” MacKenzy said.
MacKenzy said she left home at approximately 2 a.m. on Saturday, April 1 to purchase a beverage from the nearby store after staying up late with her son. She returned approximately 30 minutes later and found the garage door to the home covered with black spray-painted graffiti. The family currently shares the driveway with their neighbor whose garage only had some black squiggles spray-painted on it.
MacKenzy immediately contacted the authorities and says she believes that her family was targeted and the family has requested to rent a different home on the North Dakota Base.
MacKenzy also said that civil engineers on the base quickly covered the offensive graffiti with white paint.
Minot Air Force Base spokesperson, Maj. Jhanelle Haag, said this is the only incident involving graffiti at an on-base home within the past year. Haag noted that the base’s population currently sits at more than 12,000 people, which includes around 5,470 active-duty and reserve service members.
“Minot Air Force Base has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind,” said Col. Dan Hoadley, commander of the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot. “This type of behavior is abhorrent, unacceptable, and does not align with our Air Force core values.”