July 14, 2010 - Huey Helicopter Organizers

July 14, 2010 – Huey Helicopter Organizers

By John Bridges - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -Since the martin bird tower was removed years ago from the Vietnam Memorial at Veterans years ago, officials have been searching for a proper replacement.  Now they've found it.  Four and a half years ago, the search began for a Vietnam era Huey helicopter.  They found one in Texas.

"We were able to transport it here, said American Legion Post 1 Commander James Jenkins.  "It was totally gone through and repainted by the Louisiana Army National Guard.  This whole project has been at no cost to the City of Lake Charles.  It's been a wonderful, wonderful project."

The helicopter was dedicated on July 4th.

"This helicopter actually participated in the Vietnam War.  It was in the first Calvary.  It received battle damage there and has a tie back to Lake Charles when it came to Chennault for repairs."

For Vietnam veteran Chester Dugas, it's a fitting addition to Veterans Memorial Park and a tribute to those who lost their lives in the war.

"You don't want to forget the ones who are gone," said Dugas.  "You want to remember them.  To me this is what it's all about."

So we salute the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 215, the Marine Corps League and the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission for locating the Huey on the lakefront.

Bricks for Veterans Memorial Park are still being sold.  To honor your veteran, call 337-491-1256.

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