Memorial damaged: 'I find that very difficult to comprehend'

SEATTLE-- When Michelle Nash first heard of the idea of the Little Free Library, she just knew she had to provide one for her Queen Anne neighborhood.

In 2012 she built Seattle's first LFL. But, just recently, someone decided to damage the cherished library.

To understand the sting you have to go back nearly 50 years. Before she met her husband Bob, he was a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.

"He was shot down and became a spinal cord injury a paraplegic," Nash said.

They soon met at the VA hospital where she worked.

"It was as if I had always known him, so we were married a year and a half later," she said.

The medals and the Purple Heart were eventually boxed and time passed as their marriage and family grew. Then fate decided to take an unfortunate turn.

"We did fairly well until 2000, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease," Nash said. "The Parkinson's was causing hallucinations and that's when he took the gun to his head."

"The VA said that he had committed an act of willful misconduct and so therefore they denied me widow's benefits," she added.

Nash fought that decision and eventually had it reversed.

"As his doctor's said, everything relates back to his initial injury. He was exposed to Agent Orange, which they have linked to Parkinson's disease," Nash said.

She says his Parkinson's could also be linked to the helicopter crash. He was suffering from Parkinson's induced dementia when he took his life. The fight she hasn't won though is getting her husband's name on the Vietnam Wall.

That brings us back to the Little Free Library.

"To me this is Bob's memorial," Nash said.

She put it in place on what would have been their 43rd anniversary. Attached to it was also a box that contained a notebook. Users of the library would leave precious notes behind. But, at the end of last week, that box was knocked off and stolen, along with the notebook.

"Completely destroying and ripping off something -- and with the message -- I just find that very difficult to comprehend," Nash said. "It's a real sadness because this was for Bob. Not so much anger, I'm more confused and feeling sorry for somebody that could do something like that."

The LFL has a plaque that says, "In loving memory of Bob Nash, who walked with grace and dignity and showed me the way." Those words are guiding Michelle as she works to repair the vandalized LFL. She says she can make repairs but hopes someone will return the notebook.