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Veterans Park helicopter to be taken down and repaired

Damaged by the hurricanes
Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 9:02 AM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The future of a Vietnam-era helicopter at Veterans Memorial Park in Lake Charles is unknown, after damaged by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. A group of Hometown Heroes is trying to have the chopper restored. Visitors to the park on Lakeshore Drive have noticed it for the last 5 months: hurricane wind damage to the park’s helicopter on display in the Vietnam Veterans section of the park.

“There’s a lot of reverence and respect that must be paid for this piece of history,” stated Mayor Nic Hunter. “The city wants to see it treated with respect. Obviously the way it looks right now, we can’t allow it to continue in its current form, just sitting on the lake in this state.”

Richard Morgan is a Marine veteran and member of the Mayor’s Armed Forces Committee. They’re working to have the chopper removed and restored.

“It’s worse than anything that can be repaired around here, especially for parts and things like that,” said Richard Morgan, who did previous repairs on the chopper. “We’ve already gone to a few boneyards for parts.”

Both feel it’s important to have the park restored to it’s original condition.

“When people come down that interstate and people see that helicopter and the tank and things like that, they turn around,” said Morgan.

“Pre-hurricane, it was one of the most beautiful veterans parks in the state of Louisiana,” said Hunter. “We’re going to make sure it’s restored to that state and it’s important that future generations understand the commitment that we have to honor our veterans.”

The helicopter will be removed and stored by the Army until repairs can be made. No time frame has been given.

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