Downtown Jet

Downtown Jet | Brewster, WA | May 2020

In the last few decades, surplus military equipment has become a favorite centerpiece of small-town public areas. Jets, tanks, rockets, wheeled cannons and mounted-artillery vehicles sit side-by-side with peace fountains and municipal flower gardens. These combat machines are installed mostly to honor service men and women. But are they rightly respectful? Or are they grim reminders of veterans’ most troubling times? I really don’t know. For me, a guy who didn’t serve, the machines come loaded with Whats and Hows — what was its purpose? how did it work? what damage could it do? how did it arrive here?

[In photo: This Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star jet trainer, a non-combat aircraft, stands at the east end of Brewster’s main street, adjacent to the American Legion hall.]