Legislation moves Vietnam Helicopter Crew Memorial closer to Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial to honor nearly 5,000 pilots and crew
Legislation moves Vietnam Helicopter Crew Memorial closer to Arlington National Cemetery

A bipartisan piece of legislation authored by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., would place a memorial honoring fallen Vietnam helicopter pilots and crews in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association has been working for three years to place the proposed five-foot-by-one-foot memorial in Arlington. The memorial has been fully paid for with private donations.

“It is extraordinary to think that we have almost 5,000 helicopter pilots and crew members who died out of 58,000,” says Bob Hesselbein, president of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association.

When the organization’s request to put the memorial in Arlington National Cemetery was denied, they approached members of Congress for help.

“I was instantly convinced that there ought to be an appropriate memorial to those heroes at Arlington National Cemetery,” says Baldwin.

The Vietnam Helicopter Crew Monument Act, which is authored by Baldwin and Senator Dan Sullivan(R-AK) and has bipartisan support including six co-sponsors.

Hesselbein believes the addition of the memorial will help to tell the story of Vietnam pilots and crew members who are buried at Arlington.

“The graves by themselves honor the individual, but it takes monuments, memorials, to honor the greater sacrifice that the stone can’t describe,” says Hesselbein.

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