Family refuses to remove sign honoring military

June 29, 2010 3:39:13 PM PDT
A Woodlands Township family says they were angry after they were told they had to take down a sign that they had put up to show support for their loved ones serving overseas with the marines. However, late this afternoon there were some new developments. Michael Couvillion is a man of few words.

"I think this is stupid," said Couvillion.

He bristles at the thought of removing his yard sign. It's set back several yards from the street. The sign recognizes two young men special to Couvillion and his wife.

"It's just to honor my grandsons. They are doing something good with their lives and I think we need to applaud that they are doing the right thing," said Mary Ellen Couvillion.

The names of Sgt. James Christopher Lew and his younger brother, Corporal Steven Michael Lew are hand painted on the custom-made wooden sign below the Marine Corps insignia -- a military branch in which both men serve.

"You just can't know how much this upsets me," said Michael.

He received a notice from the Woodlands Township requesting the sign be taken down because it is against the standards of the Woodlands Township.

However, late this afternoon we received a notice from the Woodlands Township saying the notice was "in error."

The homeowners' association now says it will be issuing an apology to the family. They say their standards allow signs for addresses, builders, contractors, real estate, safety, youth activities and flags, but it does not specifically list military signs. An association spokesperson says it has been their practice to overlook this standard for signs honoring the military.

"Unfortunately in this instance, the notice was sent by a new employee who was following the standard to the letter," the spokesperson's statement read. "We will be contacting the homeowner today and issuing an apology, and they will not be required to remove the sign."

Meanwhile, neighbors we talked to enjoy the sign, including a Vietnam veteran.

"Those are two fine young men if you ever meet them," said Pete Leija. "I pray for them every day."

"Every time I see it, it makes me smile. I think how cool that they're serving our country," said neighbor Chanell Lauxman.

This story was brought to you through our partnership with Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more about the military sign flap in The Woodlands Villager.


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