New monument will honor Vietnam helicopter crews

A new monument at Arlington National Cemetery, near the U.S. capital, will honor American helicopter crews who flew during the Vietnam War.

The Military Times reports Congress has approved the monument, which will be near the Tomb of the Unknowns.

(Photo from Wikimedia)

Spearheading the memorial campaign is retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bob Hesselbein, who flew AH-1 Cobra gunships in Vietnam. Hesselbein says Arlington has the greatest concentration of helicopter-crew casualties from the war.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin says the monument will create a “teachable moment” for people to understand the story of pilots and crew members. The U.S. relied heavily on helicopters to transport troops and provide support to ground forces near enemy soldiers in Vietnam.

The nonprofit Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association is paying for the monument.

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