By Clare Duffy

The Bulletin

Folks in Redmond will have the opportunity to celebrate their patriotism in a unique way this Fourth of July: having their photos taken in the commander’s turret of an M60A3 tank, the kind used in international conflicts from 1960 to the 1990s.

The 62-ton tank is set to arrive at Redmond’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4108 on Thursday afternoon and will be placed at the post for permanent display, which the group hopes will draw attention to its organization and honor war veterans. It is being driven from an Air Force base in Washington, and the group expects it to roll in between 10 a.m. and noon.

Former Post Commander Jack Newcomb said the tank will need to be professionally sealed for safety, but for about a week it will be open for the public to sit on and take photos as a fundraiser to pay for the project.

The group raised enough money from donations to pay the $3,000 transportation cost but will seek further funds to restore and maintain the tank, according to Hal Robbins, the project leader. Those who donate more than $100 will have their names engraved on one of the bricks surrounding the tank.

The idea to place a tank outside the post arose several years ago, but Newcomb said the process of applying and being cleared to have a piece of excess army equipment was time-consuming.

“It was a stringent examination, so we are very excited it’s on its way,” Newcomb said.

The organization hopes the tank, which will sit outside the post just off U.S. Highway 97 in Redmond, will bring interest and donations from the public for services such as providing food and health care to homeless veterans.

“We concentrate on veterans, especially needy veterans, but if anyone is in need, we can help,” Newcomb said. “We did an event a couple of weeks ago for the homeless with doctors, dentists and veterinarians. We provided services there and people could take showers. We like to do anything that we hear about that we can help with.”

The post is also collecting donations to cover the cost of the project.

— Reporter: 541-633-2108, cduffy@bendbulletin.com

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected. An earlier version of this story misidentified the conflicts in which the M60A3 tank was used due to incorrect information supplied to The Bulletin.

The Bulletin regrets the error.

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