Wayne County veterans are at it again, looking to add to Veterans Memorial Park in Richmond.
This time they’re bringing a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter for display in the gorge park. And it’s been a long time coming. For more than 10 years, Wayne County veterans have called, inquired, priced, bargained and petitioned to get a Huey in the park just west of downtown Richmond.
This time it’s going to happen. But the vets are going to need the community’s help. Members of the veterans park committee have located a decommissioned Huey in Florida. Cost of the bird, as they were known in Vietnam, is $43,000 and to transport it, paint it and mount it on a stand in the park will cost another $7,000.
That means organizers will be trying to raise a little better than $50,000 for the project.
Park committee president Joe Goebel said the Huey will greatly enhance the park’s features, which include monuments to the men and women who served our country in the Civil War, both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, both Gulf Wars and Afghanistan. The park also features the first monument in Indiana to women veterans and memorials to Purple Heart recipients and those who serve in peace time.
“Our vision for growing and improving the park comes from our passionate belief that those who fought for our freedom, many paying the ultimate price, deserve to be honored and remembered,” said Goebel, a veteran of the Vietnam War. “We are asking for your support to bring the Huey to Richmond to make it a permanent part of our park.
“No contribution is too small,” he said.
The UH-1, first introduced in Vietnam in 1963, was the most widely used helicopter in the war. More than 5,000 were used from 1963 to ’75 as gunships and for medical evacuation, air assault and observation, and for transporting personnel and materials.
Donations may be sent to the Wayne County Veterans Memorial Park, P.O. Box 2401, Richmond, IN 47374. Donations can also be dropped off at VFW Post 1108, 213 S. Eighth St.
Checks should be made payable to the Wayne County Veterans Memorial Park. For more information contact Barb Goebel at (765) 967-0330. The campaign is called “Bring the Bird” and a GoFundMe page has also been established in that name.
Veterans park was started in 1991 and has hosted the Vietnam Moving Wall on six occasions and remembrances for the 911 terrorist attack, to fallen police officers and fire fighters along with military personnel killed and missing in action.