Friday, November 24th, 2017

Plans for parade, Vietnam Monument, Huey

Posted: Friday, October 20, 2017

Plans are underway for the Veterans’ Day parade and ceremony in Huntington that will include the unveiling of the Vietnam Monument on Saturday, November 11. A visit by an American Huey that was flown during the Vietnam War will also be a part of the day.

The American Huey was refurbished by John Walker, Walker’s brother and other volunteers at the American Huey 369 museum in Peru, Indiana. The events for the day will begin when the Huey arrives at 9:45 a.m. where it will land at Huntington North High School prior to the start of the Veterans’ Day parade.

Motorcycles will line the front entrance to the high school prior to the parade. Six honored veterans from the Vietnam War will be escorted pass the motorcycles and onto the Huey for their honor flight. Prior to the flight, the VFW Post 2689 will start the festivities by the playing of the national anthem.

The parade will leave Huntington North High School at 10 a.m. and travel east on MacGahan Street, south on N. Jefferson Street and west on W. Park Drive to Memorial Park. The parade will end at the park’s Veterans’ Memorial, where the new Vietnam Monument will be dedicated. Plaques bearing the names of those seventeen individuals killed in action in Vietnam will also be dedicated.

The Huey plans to make an appearance as the Vietnam Monument is dedicated at the park and then return to the high school. At the school, American Huey 369 volunteers will be on hand to help educate the community about the Huey, history of the Huey, the Vietnam War and the history of that era. Those who become members of the American Huey 369 project and pay their $100 membership will also be given a membership ride that day.

According to Walker, “The volunteers that will be in Huntington during the event are former Vietnam veterans and Huey pilots. Many of the veterans have struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues over the years.” Walker went on to say, “When the veterans that are volunteering begin talking with other veterans visiting the Huey there is a connection and healing that takes place with the veterans. Even veterans that think nothing is wrong will find solace or a peace when talking with others that understand what the veterans went through during the war and how they have carried that burden for some more than 50 years.”

Following the events, a free lunch for veterans will be served from noon until 4 p.m. at American Legion Post 85, 1410 S. Jefferson Street.