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The Plaque Presentation

Tom Nesbitt
A reserved, quiet man, Tom Nesbitt would not give the appearance of an impassioned leader. No one was more surprised at his metamorphous to champion for a cause than Tom, himself. Once he discovered the fact that the Huey had belonged to one of his former units in Vietnam, and reported this fact to his "Internet friends", there was no turning back for this once unassuming southern gentleman. A deluge of encouraging letters poured into his computer mailbox, prompting him to follow his instincts and to go ahead with this daunting task. He would not be alone, we were all right behind him, (in our comfy air-conditioned abodes, while Tom sweated out the labor of love in the hot Georgia sun!)

His connections through the Internet not only helped to bring in parts, but also found Capt. Guy Hatlie, former pilot of the very helicopter that Tom was so carefully renovating. Naturally intrigued by seeing a piece of his past brought back to life, Guy joined the group searching for parts. He stayed in close contact with Tom, and we were all delighted to find out that he, and his wife Judy, planned to attend the dedication that had been planned for Veterans Day weekend in Cordele,GA.

So moved was Guy by Tom's efforts, he felt compelled to do something more.

Tom & Guy Hatlie
To show Tom, how much he and others appreciated what he had accomplished. Tom was presented with a plaque commemorating the Huey Dedication. Like most people who see the Huey, it isnít just the wonderful job that Tom did resurrecting it from a slow rusty death, but it's the recognition of the service by the soldiers who flew it and those that rode in it. It is another long overdue monument to our Vietnam Veterans, which can be looked upon with pride. Like the wall in Washington, D.C., this memorial too, was built by the people and veterans without Government help or funding. The plaque composed by Capt. Hatlie says it best, "Thus stirring the memories of those who served and preserving the memory of those who sacrificed"

Tom & the TV Crew
Tom was not prepared for all the television and newspaper coverage that kept him busy for the next several days. Photo at left, is Tom being interviewed by the local Television station , who later helped him accomplish another one of his goals, updating an inaccurate sign in the parks museum.

Some of the key players in many of the on going projects serving veterans.


Left to Right:
Guy Hatlie, former pilot of Knight 643 and the designer of the plaque. Tom Nesbitt, proudly holding his plaque and enjoying the fact that the project has been completed in time! Susan Posey, nominated for sainthood for her on going work in helping veterans and their fight for disability due to Agent Orange exposure. She is known by the 335th as the "Mother of the Cowboys" Terry Dell, known by many as the Web Master of the 114th Home Page and counted on by his friends for their daily grins through his daily out put of the "HUMOR MILL"

Below is the plaque, which Guy Hatlie took it upon himself to have made. A lasting way of saying thank you to Tom Nesbitt, for his tireless efforts in initiating this project. From all of us who were there and all that can see your efforts through the magic of the Internet "THANK YOU TOM!"

The Plaque

A Special Note: Tom "No More Projects" Nesbitt has started another one, a monument of black marble granite to be placed in front of the Huey at the park. It will have the names of the Crisp County, GA sons that were killed in Vietnam. On each side, he would like to place the names of the KIA from both units in which he served in Vietnam, the 114th and the 335th AHC's. 

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