Brownsville Veterans Day march, helicopter dedication postponed

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A Brownsville Veterans Day march and helicopter dedication is postponed due to rain and will instead take place on Nov. 18, according to organizers.

The march will form at 10 a.m. at the H-E-B at 1628 Central Blvd. and proceed to Veterans Park at 2500 Central Blvd. (next to the Brownsville Public Library) for a ceremony, followed by the official dedication of a Vietnam-era Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter.

The local veterans’ group Warriors United in Arms raised $50,0000 to acquire the historic aircraft, delivered to Veterans Park on Nov. 7 via flatbed trailer, and donated it to the city of Brownsville. It was purchased from HeliTex Properties Ltd. of Cleburne and has been in storage at the Brownsville South Padre Island International Airport since May 8.

“The platform has not been built,” said Larry Jokl of Warriors United. “We’ve got it on the ground fenced off so nobody can get into it. It’ll go up on the platform as soon as the city builds it. We will dedicate this thing to the city and the citizens of Brownsville.”

He said the Huey is the only aircraft on static display in Texas south of Kingsville, where a 1950s-era Douglas A-4C Skyhawk was mounted on a concrete pylon at Dick Kleberg Park in 1989.

The Warriors United helicopter, which bears the name “Hope/Esperanza,” is painted olive drab with the crossed sabers of an Air Cavalry division, with red crosses on the nose and sides identifying it as a medevac aircraft.