SCIOTO — Scioto County is now the proud owner of an Iraqi tank that has been on display for more than 20 years at the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport.
During a regularly scheduled Scioto County Commissioners meeting Aug. 26, Scioto County Commissioners signed a contract with the United States of America to accept the tank as a gift to Scioto County.
“Basically, by signing this and agreeing to it, Scioto County now owns a tank,” Commissioner Bryan Davis said, followed by a laugh.
“We’re on our way,” Commissioner Scottie Powell chimed in.
The tank, which was awarded to the Sciotoville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3638 in 1996, was to be displayed outside the airport under the premise that it would check in from time to time with the Naval History and Heritage Command to ensure its safety.
The post received notice in March 2021 that if the tank were to stay, an insurance plan of $1 million- the tank’s assessed value- would need to be purchased. After discussion with congressman Bill Johnson, commissioners and the Post with the Naval History and Heritage Command, it was decided the tank would be given to the county as a gift.
“We went to bat for the veterans and worked with our congressman Bill Johnson to not allow that to happen to our veterans and we were successful,” Davis said. “They have decided to just give that tank to us.”
Davis publicly thanked Johnson for his efforts and work in Washington on their behalf and thanked the veterans for bringing the issue to their attention. Davis made it a point to let everyone know that the tank did not run or fire and that it would only need a paint job every couple of years.
“When you see it, you will now know it is the property of Scioto County and fully insured under our insurance,” Davis said. “We are happy to do that for our veterans.”
Before approving the motion to sign the paperwork for the tank, Commissioner Cathy Coleman jokingly stated that the tank could not be used for the upcoming River Days events.
“Before I make a motion to approve, you cannot ride it in the River Days parade,” Coleman said to Davis, followed by all three commissioners laughing.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at email@example.com.
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