U.S. Air Force veteran Larry Burkhart was recognized as the Veteran of the Month during the Kosciusko County Commissioners meeting this morning.
After enlisting in 1973, the North Webster resident was involved in several significant events during his 20 years in the service, such as the Strategic Air Command nuclear loading campaign; being stationed at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; and witnessing the development of the GBU-28 missile – the “bunker buster” used during the Gulf War.
He expressed the most pride in his involvement in Operation Babylift in 1975, which evacuated thousands of infants from South Vietnam and tens of thousands of other refugees. He recalled how the babies were small enough to pack four to a chicken crate as they were stowed aboard the C-130s.
“I want to say this much, I was able to do a lot of things in the service a lot of people didn’t get a chance to do,” said Burkhart, who worked in a school system for 22 years after his Air Force service. “I’ve been all over the world, but there’s no place better than Indiana.”
Also this morning, commissioners approved a supplemental agreement with the Indiana Department of Transportation for bridge inspection. County Highway Superintendent Scott Tilden said the addition to the original $15,500 contract will allow for 24 more bridges to be looked at in the next three years, with 80 percent reimbursement from INDOT.
And commissioners approved an ordinance setting a $50 yearly fee for registry for violent offenders and sex offenders. County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine requested the fee in January, when he observed that there are costs for the department in keeping the registries.