VFW Middle East War Monument, Vietnam Memorial and Tank

This memorial garden features a large wall of duplicated dog tags of servicemen and women, stone monuments that pay tribute to Middle East, Korean, and Vietnam War vets. The tank rests just west of the VFW hall off of Route 37.


The Tank

The tank is an M60 tank built in Michigan in the early 1960s. It now belongs to the local VFW Post 1301, 201 E. Longstreet Rd., Marion., The tank was originally requested from the U.S. Army fleet of inactive weaponry on Oct. 30, 1996. The tank finally arrived in Marion on June 15, 1998.The M60 tanks were first built in 1960 and saw quite a bit of action in Vietnam. The M60 tank succeeded its predecessors the M47 and M48 tanks, all of which were called ``The Patton Tank`` in honor of World War II General George Patton. All the M60 tanks were built in a three year span from 1959 to 1962. This particular tank was built at the Detroit Army Tank Plant in Warren, Michigan, by Chrysler Motors. It features a 12 cylinder diesel, air-cooled engine. It weighs 105,060 pounds and could reach a top speed of 30 mph. Once fueled, the tank could travel 280 miles before it needed refueling. It had two forward gears and one reverse. This tank is one of the few M60s remaining and was one of only 2,205 ever made.

The Living Memorial

The veterans' memorial was built just east of the Marion Heyde-Pillow VFW Post 1301 off Illinois 37 north of town. Instead of having names engraved in stone, this memorial has replica GI dog tags riveted to its surface. Each will bear the veteran's name, hometown, the branch of service and war theater (if applicable), and/or dates of service. The living memorial was unveiled and dedicated on Memorial Day 2005. Like those on the Vietnam Wall, the names are cataloged, so those visiting the memorial will be able to easily locate an individual name.

Additional Memorials

An additional memorial for veterans who were a part of Desert Storm all the way through the present-day conflict was dedicated on Veterans Day in 2021.

TIps for VFW Middle East War Monument, Vietnam Memorial and Tank

Honoring The Fallen – Each year on Memorial Day and Veterans Day a program is held to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and those who have fought for our protection.

Discard your flags – A Refurbished mailbox is used as a worn or used flag drop-off point at VFW Post 1301.

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