Vietnam helicopter pilots and their crews want to build a small memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to honor their late fellow flyers — but those efforts have so far been grounded.
But the veterans say the federal cemetery fears allowing one memorial to be erected will open the floodgates to many more.
"[They're] now saying we want no memorials, we only want graves," 64-year-old Army vet Bob Hesselbein, who 1972 flew Cobra attack helicopters over Vietnam in the early 1970s, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Meg Jones.
"We say there are places you can't bury people because of utility lines and we could put the memorial in any of those … This is not about us honoring what we did. It's about honoring the guys who did what we did and didn't come home."
There still may be hope.
The newspaper says Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska have introduced the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Memorial Act. It's now before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and a House version is also drawing support.
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