KING, N.C. (WGHP) — Darrell Calloway knows the art of welding. His father Carl Calloway, better known as Butch, taught him, and Darrell taught his sons.
“It’s an art. It’s taught from generation to generation,” he said. “The welding that my father did is different from the welding that I do. I see my sons gravitating to new ways, and that’s fine.”
The art has taken him all over the United States and Mexico, including working on movie sets like “Titanic” and “Patch Adams.” But the piece that’s meant the most has been the one his dad has been working to create for years.
“[Dad] spent several years over there in Vietnam, and he’s always wanted a helicopter. He loves Huey helicopters. He’s worked on Huey helicopters,” Darrell said.
As a Vietnam veteran, Butch Calloway, thought the American Legion Post 290, named after his uncle Carl Calloway, would be the perfect place for a Huey to be erected as a memorial.
“Kids get excited seeing the helicopter in the air,” Darrell said. “Parents having the opportunity to say this is what their helicopter did.”
Darrell welded a real Huey that flew in Vietnam high on a pedestal as a memorial to those who served and those that never came home.
He also worked on adding a bench, filled with colorful images of a Huey in the air, for folks visiting the memorial to rest.
The community dedicated the Huey and bench recently on Vietnam Veterans Day.
“It meant a lot to be a part of this,” Darrell said. “What I tell my sons: ‘when you build it, build it because you know generations after you are going to see it.'”
You can see for yourself. It’s located on the grounds of the King American Legion on Main Street.