Anti-Jason Dunham signs cause outrage in Scio

Posted at 6:41 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 13:08:20-04

Scio resident Sonya Cady has sparked a controversy in her hometown of Scio in Allegany County after she put up signs outside her house saying hometown hero Marine Lance Corporal Jason Dunham "was not a hero - he did not save [sic] comrads."

The signs also went on to say the Iraq War, where Corporal Dunham was killed, was inspired by the devil.

"He is our hero.  He's also everyone's hero but there is something special about him in our town," said upset neighbor Pamala Palmer.

Palmer posted pictures of the sign on social media where it generated hundreds of comments ranging from anger to those arguing that Cady has a right to free speech.

Corporal Dunham grew up in Scio but was killed from injuries he suffered in 2004 Iraq after throwing himself on top of a live grenade to save his fellow Marines.

Dunham was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.

Throughout Scio, many plaques hang in honor of Corporal Dunham - but it was a new Dunham tribute sign that was put up across from Sonya Cady's home that caused her to hang her own controversial messages.

"People are getting upset with me because they have been brainwashed that Jason Dunham did something he didn't."

Cady explained that her religious beliefs have convinced her that the story of Corporal Dunham's death was contrived to help sell the Iraq War to the American People.

While upset neighbors said they understand the right to free speech, many felt Cady's actions crossed a line because it attacked a person who was no longer able to defend himself.  They also felt it was insulting to Jason Dunham's family who have already been through so much.

Early this morning, someone tore down the controversial signs.  However, Cady has put up another with a warning to those who took her signs "I could shoot you if I'd come out last night. Lucky for you I don't like guns."

Scio Town Supervisor Kim Demick tells 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly that many people are saddened by the events but the "town's hands are tied" because the signs are placed on private property and Cady is not breaking any laws.

However, Demick added there has been a history of Cady placing numerous signs on her property attacking the courts and police - and her erratic behavior has some believing that she is a person in need of help.

Ed Reilly went to Scio today and has more in his reports.