Helicopter arrives safely at Evart VFW post

Members hoping to restore, mount chopper by spring

EVART — A piece of history has been successfully delivered to members of the Evart VFW Post No. 7979. Monday marked the arrival of a UH-1 Huey helicopter which will be displayed on the post grounds next year.

Emotions ran high between post members and family members as VFW Post Commander Dave Brickey said a few words after the machine was unloaded onto the ground.

"For us to get to this point — it's here now, it's ours," said Brickey. "We want school children to understand what these helicopters were capable of and the lives they saved."

Although they are unsure of the helicopter's specific history, Brickey believes was used by the U.S. Army in Vietnam. The post received the piece of equipment after being referred to TACOM. Request forms were filed and in June members were notified that a helicopter in Pennsylvania was available.

With the help of local individuals and businesses, enough funding was raised to pay for the moving process. Then, Hillis Bros. Trucking, Inc. of Morley volunteered to transport the helicopter for only the cost of fuel.

"I'm 20 years younger because of their help," said VFW Senior Vice Commander Jim Eaton.

Now, the goal is to raise more than $5,000 to fully restore the helicopter and display it on the property outside the post building as a memorial for veterans from the area. Depending on how quickly the funds come in, the structure could be complete and dedicated by spring if the weather permits, Brickey said. In addition, the post plans on having a woodcarver carve a statue of a soldier mounted next to the helicopter.

The helicopter is the first step to a physical reminder of the sacrifice made by all veterans, post members said.

"This is the best thing that ever happened," Eaton said. "It took some time, but it was worth it."