Navy Veteran Herschel Luckinbill works with fellow veterans every day of the week.
So when he first heard about the state of the Spanish-American War cannon that resides at the Riverside Cemetery in Montgomery the Vietnam vet knew he had to do something to help restore it.
“Its wheels are rotted off. It’s in desperate need of repair,” said Luckinbill, who has started the fundraiser Save the Cannon.
Luckinbill said from information discovered on the cannon that the wagon was built in 1889 by Watervliet Arsenal in New York. The Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois built the carriage in 1887.
The cannon is scheduled to be sand blasted at Fox Valley Sandblasting & Powder Coating, which will hopefully provide more specific information on the cannon, said Luckinbill.
Repairs for the sand blasting, new wheels and carriage repairs and the remounting of the cannon are expected to cost around $9,000.
“It’s turned into quite the project,” said Luckinbill, A blacksmith from Oswego, Tom Korthauer, along with a former Oswego resident and wagon master Rod Henderson have volunteered their time to help repair the cannon and carriage.
To help fund the repairs of an “important piece of history,” Luckinbil is arranging a fundraising concert on Feb. 16 at the Montgomery VFW, 121 N. River St.
Tickets cost $30 each or $50 for two and entertainment for the evening will include country and patriotic recording artist Ricky Lee and local singer “That Violynist” Carrie Lyn Infusion, who has headlined the State Fair for the past four years. Those interested in purchasing tickets can call 630-801-9591.
Donations can also be made to Herschel Luckinbill, 1603 Timber Lane Drive
Montgomery, IL 60538 with the check made out to “Save the Cannon.”
The goal is to have the cannon repaired by Memorial Day, for which there will be a picnic and dedication ceremony at the cemetery.
Luckinbill is also working on another project for Veteran’s Day. The Vietnam Wall Traveling Memorial will be coming to Aurora for Veterans Day, officially planned to arrive on Nov. 8.
The wall is 3./5 the size of the original and has every single name of each soldier from the Vietnam War.
“We’re going to need many, many volunteers,” said Luckinbill, who said the wall had to have an active guard the entire time of its stay.
There will also be memorials and events for the Korean War, Afghan, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, said Luckinbill. 125,000 people are expected to turn out for the weekend event.
More details will be coming in later months.