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Lockheed Martin donates property for veterans park

Times-Tribune - 9/14/2017

Sept. 14--ARCHBALD -- Lockheed Martin donated a chunk of land to become home to a veterans memorial park.

The roughly 2-acre property along Kennedy Drive, across from Maria Boulevard, is exactly the type of visible spot organizers had in mind to honor servicemen, said Robert Turlip, chairman of the Archbald Borough Veterans Monument Park Committee.

Four veterans groups spearheading the committee envision the park hosting decommissioned military equipment -- perhaps a helicopter -- along with a memorial listing borough residents who died in the line of duty, markers and flagpoles.

Turlip hopes the inert weaponry to be displayed will be unique in a county that hosts a number of tanks, artillery pieces and even an anchor from an aircraft carrier, and preferably something Lockheed Martin manufactures.

The ideal helicopter would be a Black Hawk, but not many of them have been decommissioned, the retired U.S. Army major said.

"We're going to make submission to (the U.S. Department of Defense) and see what they have," Turlip added.

Lockheed Martin's 350,000-square-foot facility has operated in Archbald since 1951 and employs about 500 people, said Mark Schaub, a spokesman for the defense contractor.

The company provides design, manufacturing, engineering, field service and support to its precision-guided systems and nuclear systems at Archbald.

"Our company has been built on supporting this country's service members," said Peter Rosecrans, general manager at the company's Archbald Operations, in a prepared statement. "We at Lockheed Martin are also committed to supporting this community, and providing a home for this project was an ideal way to contribute."

The Archbald Borough Veterans Memorial Park Committee has an architect and contractor developing a budget for the project and plans to pursue grants and fundraisers to make it a reality. Turlip expects it to take three years to come together.

The idea is that it would be a borough park with veterans organizations paying for maintenance with fundraising efforts.

"We have a lot of veterans that we like to support," Council President Maria Tomassoni said.

Contact the writer:

kwind@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100, x5181;

@kwindTT on Twitter

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(c)2017 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)

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