SURPRISE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A family in Surprise is putting up a fight after their HOA told them a military memorial is not allowed to be displayed on their home.
The magnet on the garage door says the following:
Freedom is not Free
Remembering my Brother
Sgt. John Kyle Daggett
09/03/86 – 05/15/08
US Army Airborne Ranger
In the Desert Oasis Community, Kendall and Curtis Rasmusson have been fined $50 by their HOA for having it up.
“I’m not quite sure what is determining this sign here versus the other sign decorations that I have,” Kendall said, pointing to the other Halloween and fall decorations in her yard and on the front of her house.
In 2008, Kendall’s brother died in the line of duty in Iraq and she’s had this banner up as a memorial to him since about April of last year.
“I’m not quite sure why it’s a problem, but they keep referring to it as a sign and we’re not allowed to have signs in the home or on any of the work vehicles, I think, but I don’t consider this a sign. I consider it a decoration honoring my brother,” Kendall said.
Kendall says the HOA violation notifications started coming in April 2018, along with a $25 fine. Because the Rasmussons still didn’t remove the magnet, they now have a $50 fine.
It’s not just the Kendall and her family who love the bold phrase on the garage door. Several neighbors on the street told us they’re happy to see it, and wish the Rasmussons weren’t getting punished for it.
“Thanks to her brother that gave his life for us to have that freedom,” said neighbor Rosa Goforth. “So I’m disappointed that the association doesn’t approve of it.”
The Rasmussons say their two appeals have been denied. After putting up a petition on change.org, the family has gotten more than 850 signatures.
“I’d like to work with the HOA, if anything, just to be able to keep it up just for Veteran’s Day is coming up,” Kendall said.
And there are a lot of other patriotic holidays she’s hoping to get permission for, too.
On Friday, the community’s HOA told Arizona’s Family they have decided to waive all the fines against the Rasmusson's. A representative for Desert Oasis says many of the management company's employees also have military family members, and wouldn't want to send the message that they don't support those who serve in the armed forces.