HomeCoverINTERNATIONALPunta Gorda Metropolis Council closes door on relocating Vietnam-era helicopter to veteran's...

Punta Gorda Metropolis Council closes door on relocating Vietnam-era helicopter to veteran’s memorial


The way forward for a Huey helicopter which means so much to Charlotte County veterans is unclear after the Punta Gorda Metropolis Council voted to not enable additional discussions about relocation.

The Vietnam-era medivac helicopter stands tall outdoors the Army Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda.

Its proprietor and a number of other veterans need to transfer it to the Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida. The Punta Gorda Metropolis council decided final September to not enable the Huey to be part of the memorial.

The president of the Vietnam memorial and the proprietor of the Huey spoke on the council assembly on Wednesday. They requested them to rethink, saying they’ve addressed all of the council’s issues. Nevertheless, in a 3-2 vote, the council determined to not enable any extra discussions about relocating the helicopter to the memorial.

Councilmember Jaha Cummings stated the council didn’t have all the data they wanted to make a good determination on whether or not or to not enable the helicopter to be relocated to the Vietnam memorial wall. He stated the choices had been based mostly on ignorance. Others on the assembly took that personally.

Moments later, the council voted to not enable any extra discussions concerning the helicopter on the agenda. The vote got here as a disappointment to retired Air Power Main Normal Dick Carr, who helped plan the memorial.

“When you had been there, on the bottom particularly, however like me, if I ever punched out and was within the jungle, I’d rattling properly welcome a Huey. And these guys, numerous them, had been introduced again out in Hueys and lived. An terrible lot of them, after all, didn’t,” stated Carr.

Issues over legal responsibility to the town had been introduced up as an argument in opposition to relocation. Normal Carr stated he would gladly pay for legal responsibility insurance coverage.

The proprietor of the Huey stated its present residence on the Army Heritage Museum was solely imagined to be a brief cease earlier than it landed on the memorial.

“Getting Vietnam veterans collectively, sharing an expertise with the Huey, we’ve had individuals come up and hug the Huey due to its significance to them. We’ve had individuals pat it and say, ‘this machine saved my life.’ It’s a car for them to precise these emotions and maybe, transfer towards therapeutic,” stated Gus Hawkins, the Huey’s proprietor.

The chief director of the museum the place it now sits doesn’t know the place it should find yourself however says it’s an necessary reminder of the historical past many in our nation lived and skilled.

“Wherever it goes, it needs to be in a spot that permits individuals to see it, find out about it, perceive it, particularly right this moment’s younger individuals. You recognize, we obtained to recollect, Vietnam Struggle was 50+ years in the past,” stated Gary Butler, government director of the Army Heritage Museum.

The helicopter’s proprietor stated he’s now on the lookout for the perfect residence for the Huey, saying it must be revered and displayed with dignity.

Normal Carr stated Wednesday’s determination wouldn’t cease him from persevering with his work of increasing and including to the memorials on the park.

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