NEWARK, OH (WCMH) – A more than 50-year-old military helicopter was damaged sometime this weekend in Newark.
The Vietnam War era UH-1B helicopter has been in Licking County since December of 1988.
It has made several appearances at events in the area but was not able to make it to Granville’s Fourth of July Parade on Wednesday and will miss Somerset this weekend.
The military helicopter that used to sit here on South 6th Street at the American Legion Post 85 in Newark but is now gone, moved to a more secure location after it was damaged.
“It makes you upset,” said Veteran Dan Fortney. “It makes you mad.”
Someone was somehow able to break two military-grade windows out of this helicopter. Now they are looking to find the right piece of Plexiglas to keep the helicopter close to its original state.
Mark Rehl is the President of the Vietnam Veterans America Chapter 55. He said it happened sometime this past weekend likely at night.
He added whoever damaged this helicopter temporarily took away a very important piece of our country’s history from the community and other veterans… especially during the Fourth of July.
“We take it to schools as an educational too,” said Rehl. “We take it to community affairs for fundraisers. It is also an intrinsic part of the Vietnam Veterans of America, their outreach program.”
Dan Forney is a veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 85.
He said while he never was in combat with this helicopter, he understands how important it is to people like him.
“I mean I jumped from those, I’d hang underneath them,” said Fortney. “I’ve traveled many miles in those back in my day.”
Fortney added he doesn’t understand why anyone would damage something that means who much to American Veterans.
“To see it disrespected by a group of people that appreciate it, it makes you upset.”
There is a $1,000 dollar reward for anyone who gives information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who damaged that helicopter. If you have any information or want to add to that reward amount contact Mark Rehl (740)-364-9914 or email him at [email protected]