A familiar site for Galesburg residents is about to appear in a new location with a new look.
The armored vehicle that for years sat in front of what was the Galesburg American Legion Hall will be in Lincoln Park by this Friday morning near the Veteran’s Memorial.
Midstate Manufacturing has helped spearhead the moving and refurbishing of the amphibious troop transporter, although most call it a “tank.”
Shawn Pittman with Midstate says he got a phone call from Alderman Wayne Allen several months ago.
Allen asked if he knew someone who could move it to Lincoln Park, and Pittman agreed to take care of it, initially just meaning transporting it.
Pittman suggested that the crew at Midstate paint and sandblast the vehicle before it was moved into its new location.
They were able to get a military spec paint, re-stenciled a section to its original condition.
“Then when I did some research on the internet [I found] most of those troop transporters you saw had a big star painted on the side of them,” Pittman tells WGIL. “So we went ahead and added that.”
He says several Midstate suppliers donated materials need to do the job, including Lee Brothers and LCI.
Pittman added that he wanted the vehicle to be something that veterans and the community at large could be proud of.
“What nobody realizes is that tank saw action and that took soldiers into battle that never got to come home. When I did my site visit that… was very surreal to me. Standing inside that thing, looking around, thinking about the soldiers [running] out the back of this to never see their families again.”
Pittman says it would take a lot more work to make the machine functional but its in great shape for what its intended to do, remind residents of the sacrifice of veterans and military personnel.