Veterans memorial committee hopes seeks Air Force plane for display

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Central Texas Veterans Memorial

The Central Texas Veterans Committee hopes to obtain a retired Air Force aircraft for a static display at the veterans memorial in Brownwood's 36th Division Memorial Park.

Harold Stieber and Steve Kelly, president and past president respectively of the committee, asked Brownwood City Council members to sign off on the committee's request to the Air Force.

Council members agreed to do so. Mayor Stephen Haynes said he when he takes developers and other visitors on tours of the city, the veterans memorial "that is so incredibly well done" is part of his tour.

Kelly said the committee believes its application to the Air Force will score higher is submitted by a government entity.

"There is no guarantee of being issued an aircraft, nor an expected timeline," Kelly said.

He said it is "complicated and difficult" to obtain a retired military aircraft. 

"Thirty years ago Bert Massey signed a letter to the Army for a helicopter," Kelly said. "It's still on file. We're a category 5. Category 1 is military museums, and category 4 is target practice, and we're category 5."

 The committee would be responsible for all of the costs of transport, installation and maintenance of the aircraft but does not have an estimation of actual costs, Kelly said.

Council member H.D. Jones, who is also a member of the airport board, asked about the possibility of transferring one of the static display jets parked at the airport entrance to the veterans memorial. "It would be a lot simpler and cheaper," Jones said.

Haynes suggested that Jones bring up the idea to the airport board.