An M-60 tank from the 1960s is lowered into place Aug. 8 at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4659 in Shelby Township. The tank is a static display that was moved to Shelby Township from a shuttered VFW in Berville.

An M-60 tank from the 1960s is lowered into place Aug. 8 at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4659 in Shelby Township. The tank is a static display that was moved to Shelby Township from a shuttered VFW in Berville.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Shelby Township VFW is new home for M-60 tank display

By: Joshua Gordon | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 13, 2018

 VFW Post 4659 Commander Michael Crampton stands next to the M-60 tank after it was installed Aug. 8 at the post in Shelby Township.

VFW Post 4659 Commander Michael Crampton stands next to the M-60 tank after it was installed Aug. 8 at the post in Shelby Township.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — If you saw an M-60 tank coming down some Shelby Township roads Aug. 8, don’t be alarmed, as the 1960s armored vehicle was only headed to its new home in the community.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4659 was selected as the new home for the tank after its previous home, a VFW post in St. Clair County, closed in the past few years. Former Shelby Township Post Commander Mike Perusich said the committee to move the tank had been working for a year and a half to get the tank to Shelby Township.

“I think this tank will give us better notoriety for our VFW, as people will be able to see it from Van Dyke, and hopefully we get some people to join our VFW if they are eligible,” Perusich said.

Perusich said VFW Post 4659, located at 8311 Wilson Drive, just off Van Dyke Avenue and north of 24 Mile Road, first applied to have a static display in 2001, but nothing ever came of it. It wasn’t until the post found out about the tank sitting in Berville for the past three years at a closed VFW post that the Shelby Township post saw the perfect fit.

The Shelby Township VFW post worked with TACOM in Warren to move the display Aug. 8. Perusich said they had connections through their members to get help from a local construction company to support the move.

The VFW also had to work with the Shelby Township Planning Commission and a local contractor to develop a pad for the tank to sit on. Perusich said the tank is now sitting near the VFW post and serves as a nice entrance display for the building.

“I think as a courtesy to our 600 members, it was great to bring something like this into the township that has not been done before,” said Perusich, who served in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1967. “I think it will help support the local veterans, as it will increase the visibility of our post with the general public and community in Shelby Township.

“It is a great sign of the community’s military support.”

The tank weighs about 50 tons and has a large barrel on the front. Perusich said pretty much everything on the tank is welded shut for safety, and the motor and transmission were taken out years ago. Still, it provides the opportunity for people to get an up close and personal look at a real tank.

The VFW hopes to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the near future, but the committee wanted to get the tank in place first.

Shelby Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said it will be exciting for Shelby Township residents to have the tank in the community.

“We have a great military and veterans community here in Shelby Township, and this tank could not go in a better place than the VFW here,” Stathakis said. “This is a great way to pay tribute to all our veterans, and we are excited we were selected for this display.”

With the VFW doing much in the way of community service over the past two decades, as well as being part of an honor guard, Perusich said he hopes the community will come out and support the VFW when possible.

“It is good to know we have so many veterans who support the community, and we have about 27 VFW (posts) in our district,” he said. “We have all taken on our share of supporting community service, and we will continue with any kind of support we can offer.”

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