TAMPA, Fla. (TBO.com)The furor over Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a prisoner of insurgents in Afghanistan, came to Tampa last week.

A sign at the Veterans Memorial Park and Museum, calling for his return, was defaced when someone painted the word “desertion” on it, park officials say.

Workers at the park, 3602 U.S. Hwy. 301 in Tampa, discovered the vandalism sometime in the middle of last week, said park manager Raul Duran.

Trouble at the park is rare, said Duran, who has been working with the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department for 18 years and as manager of Veterans Memorial Park for the past 15. In addition to being defaced with paint, Duran said it appeared that someone tried to kick the sign over.

Duran said he did not report the incident to authorities.

The 15-square-foot sign was erected several months ago for about $150 by Rolling Thunder, an organization dedicated to the return of prisoners of war and those missing in action, says Mike O’Dell, chairman of the POW/MIA section of the park and museum.

O’Dell said he was upset to hear what happened to the sign, despite the roaring controversy over Bergdahl.

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