The M56 Scorpion Airborne Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun (SPATG) that is part of the Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Tillicum Park is about to move.
After the loss of our local VFW post, the members of Forks American Legion Post 106 were asked if they would be willing to take care of the Scorpion. Of course, they voted in the affirmative and committed to beginning the care of the vehicle. During discussions about the restoration and cleanup of the vehicle, the suggestion was made that it would be great if the memorial could be added to the two that exist at the Forks Transit Center.
We honor the families of all veterans that have been lost with the Gold Star Families Memorial, and we honor the families of those with family members that are serving with the Blue Star Memorial. It’s just fitting that the memorial to the local Vietnam Veterans should join them.
The idea was graciously accepted by officials of the city and plans have now started for moving the Scorpion and building a new memorial. There are already a few local individuals and a couple of groups that are ready to help with this endeavor, but we still have a ways to go!
On Friday the 26, the first meeting of the planning group was held and we established some of the basic time frames and project priorities. Needless to say, we will be working from the ground up and the plan is to have a new enclosure similar to the existing one, but with modifications to include signage describing the vehicle and how it was used along with a plaque to honor those involved with the current project. The plan also includes trying to restore and move the existing monument that lists the names of four of our local fallen. The vehicle will be sandblasted and cleaned before repainting and moving it to its new place of honor.
Our group is asking for help from the public in the form of volunteers that are willing to help with the physical labor part of this project and donations to help defray the costs. We have established a preliminary budget of $10,000. We will be setting up a separate account at our post as we did when we took over the Gold Star Memorial Project.
If you would like to volunteer to help or donate to the project contact one of the American Legion Members or send a note to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to donate you can also send donations to American Legion Post 106, PO Box 1012, Forks, Wa. 98331. You are also invited to the planning meetings which are held at the American Legion Post, 651 E. Division. The next meeting is Friday, June 2 at 1 p.m.
As always we are very grateful and appreciative of your support and look forward to the completion of this project.
American Legion Post 106