LONGVIEW, Wash. -- Specialist Mikayla Bragg is buried in Kent, Washington, a couple hours away from her hometown. Her dad Steve Bragg still lives in Longview. After Mikayla's death, Steve worked with the city council to get a plaque installed in her honor at Lake Sacajawea Park.
Over the weekend, Steve learned someone stole Mikayla's plaque and several others from the park. He thinks whoever took the memorials did it to sell the scrap metal, since they were all made of copper and bronze. Mikayla's plaque means much more to Steve than that. It's the place he goes to connect with his daughter, since her grave is so far away. He says every two or three weeks, he would bring flowers to the plaque and talk to her.
Mikayla's missing plaque brings new heartbreak to a family that's already suffered incredible loss. Spc. Mikayla Bragg died in Afghanistan in 2011. The military later ruled it a suicide. Her family still has a lot of questions about her death, and they may never get all the answers.
Steve reported the missing plaque to Longview police, and says they're investigating the thefts. He says he doesn't need any answers from whoever took the memorial, he just wants it back.