93-year-old war hero says he would spank teens who burglarized, trashed his home


by Sher-Min Chow & Jeff McShan / KHOU 11 News & Michelle Homer / KHOU.com


Posted on January 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

HOUSTON -- Ninety-three-year-old Elbert Wood came home from a doctor’s appointment Monday morning to find his home burglarized and vandalized with spray paint.

The World War II hero pointed to the furniture, walls, windows, paintings and TV, now tagged with graffiti.

“I never heard of anything like this before," Wood said.

If he’d been home when the crooks broke in, Wood said, “I’d have tried to kill ‘em.”

Two of the suspects were caught just down the street with red paint on their hands, spray can caps in their pockets and stuff stolen from Wood’s home. One teen admitted to breaking into the house, but claims he didn’t vandalize it.

“What can I say? I didn’t spray paint his house," he said.

Turns out the suspects in custody are just 13 and 16 years old. We can’t release their names because they are juveniles.

One of them started crying when Wood’s son and daughter-in-law showed up at the scene.  

Wood’s daughter-in-law, Diane Wood, said, “They just wanted to apologize. They were very upset.”

Wood was wounded twice in the war and still has shrapnel in one leg. The first time, he was shot and  hospitalized for a year. The extent of his injuries earned him a Purple Heart, but that didn't stop the Marine from serving another tour of duty overseas.

Wood, who raised four kids of his own in the house, is now ready to dish out some very old school discipline.

“I’d tried to spank them as hard as I could.”

The veteran still managed to have a sense of humor about the crooks.

“They redecorated for me," he said.

Wood built his northwest Houston home himself and has lived in it for 55 years. He shared the home with his wife until her death last year.