DeBary City Manager Carmen Rosamonda is looking for a used battle tank.
Intending to add more military hardware to the city’s Memorial Park, Rosamonda has asked the Army and the Department of Defense to donate a surplus tank — hopefully an older M1 Abrams tank that is no longer needed.
“I shot for the moon. I’m going to request a tank,” he told The Beacon.
Rosamonda has experience. He was on the DeBary City Council when the city acquired an airplane for the park.
That F-15 Eagle fighter formerly used by the Air Force was placed in Memorial Park in 1999 in honor of Airman 1st Class Brian McVeigh, a DeBary man killed in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia June 25, 1996.
McVeigh was an F-15 crew chief with the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base. Eighteen other Americans lost their lives in the terrorist attack.
That F-15, Rosamonda noted, may represent the Air Force, while an anchor on display in the park came from the Navy. To recognize veterans, he would like to have artifacts from each of the nation’s five armed services.
“It’s Memorial Park to honor those who died, but also to honor all our veterans,” Rosamonda said.
Asked when he may know whether the Army will grant his request, Rosamonda was not certain.
“When you get on the waiting list, it could be for six months or five years,” he replied.
Rosamonda said his idea of getting a big-ticket military-surplus item is already gaining some support,
“We’re already getting calls about paying for the transportation of it,” he said.
Before the U.S. military donates surplus armaments or equipment to local governments or organizations for public displays, those items must be demilitarized, meaning they will be rendered incapable of causing injury or being used in a hostile manner.