HOA to Family: Take Down Sailor's Welcome Sign
Attorney says sign can only be up 2 weeks before, after leave
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2014 12:13 PM CST
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Anthony Marsiglia is in the Navy, currently deployed on an aircraft carrier, but coming home in the next few weeks. His family had a "welcome" sign hanging outside their Louisiana home for him—until their Lafayette homeowner's association instructed them, via attorney, to take it down. The Frenchman's Creek subdivision HOA didn't give KATC much in the way of answers—a letter the family received points to homeowner rules requiring signs to be no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches, but the sign fits those dimensions—but the attorney told the station the sign can only be up two weeks before Marsiglia returns home and two weeks after.

"He's out there and he's left his daughter, that's hard already for him," says Marsiglia's mom, who lives in the house. "This is how she keeps him in her heart every day and clearly, if you see the house, it's a homage to her daddy." Adds daughter Alex, 8, who was just 4 when her father left for the Navy, "I miss him and I'm proud of him. I wish he wasn't in the Navy." Marsiglia's mom says the HOA hasn't explained, to her satisfaction, why the sign can't stay up year-round. Now, KATC reports, the HOA has hired a mediator to deal with the situation—and other veterans are showing their support. One former Marine placed a flag and a yellow ribbon on the subdivision sign, both of which were quickly removed.

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agb1953 .
Feb 21, 2014 9:14 PM CST
I own 2 homes. 1 sits empty in a HOA neighborhood and it will stay that way forever. I bought the 2nd home after 22 years in the HOA neighborhood. I could go to hell when I die and got tired of living like I was already there.
Feb 21, 2014 7:45 PM CST
Anyone who wonders where the guards at Auschwitz came from has never been a HOA board member.
Feb 21, 2014 2:10 PM CST
I have nothing but rancor for HOAs, but it sounds to me like the family are the ones being unreasonable here. The article says that the HOA rules allow them to have the sign up 2 weeks before the guy comes home, and two weeks after. That is perfectly reasonable. Speaking as a vet myself though, I have to say that if they're displaying the sign weeks or even days before the sailor that it is intended to honor even gets there, then the sign isn't about him anymore, it is about the family and their desire to get attention from their neighbors. It is a petty way of telling their neighbors "look at how special we are because our kid is in the military and yours is not, look at how much better we are than you because we CLEARLY honor our veterans with this sign while you don't have a sign at all." Its sad actually.