Wild Rose dedicates town's first veterans memorial

WILD ROSE, Wis. (WBAY) -- The small town of Wild Rose dedicated its first Veterans memorial on Saturday.

A Vietnam-era helicopter is at the center of the display, all made possible by community donations.

“This is to honor men and women who fought for our country,” said Cal Wilson, Commander of the Daniel Dopp American Legion Post 370.

The community joined the legion for the dedication.

“It started out in October of 2016 and less than 2 years, everything is paid for and all local donations,” said Wilson.

After raising more than $26,000 for the AH-1 Huey Cobra Attack helicopter, it now sits across the street from the Lions Club.

Some legion members even had a hand in restoring the helicopter to its original condition.

“Most of us sanded down and cleaned it up. We put the decals on it and restored it back as close to condition as we could,” said Barry Osicka, a legion member.

Members picked up the helicopter in Arizona, it sat at the Wild Rose Airport and then in storage before finally being put on display here.

“We decided we wanted to go ahead and make it part of our memorial that we have been talking about for a number of years with the wild rose lions club giving us the lease land here,” said Osicka.

Thanks to the Lions Club there are five acres of land and members have more planned for the site.

“We have a bell that is made out of brass cartridges that were shot in Vietnam that we're going to install here so people can come and ring the bell as a memory of a loved one or lost one,” said Osicka.

Plans also include more signage explaining the history of the helicopter for generations to come.