|A retired Navy F-14 Tomcat Fighter Jet has been restored and is on display at Eisenhower Park, along I-70 at Exit 127. To promote the new Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery at WaKeeney, former mayor Kenny Deustcher began searching for items that were representative of each branch of the military.
In the fall of 2005, he received notification of the retired Navy F-14, which had been sitting untouched at a U.S. Naval Reserve Station for the previous 5 years. After a lot of hard work by local volunteers and several money-raising projects, the plane was dismantled in the spring of 2006 and transported to WaKeeney from Ohio by truck. It was quite a feat to get it transported to WaKeeney because of its size. The wings, tailpiece, and flight controls arrived first. The fuselage, the primary part of the plane, was transported on a truck that took up almost two lanes on the highways and required special permits from each state that it traveled through.
After it finally arrived in WaKeeney, a team of 4 retired military men from Virginia rebuilt the jet on a downtown parking lot where it was the main attraction for several days. The 40,000-pound, 62-ft aircraft was then towed to its permanent location at
Eisenhower Park, where it is a tribute to veterans of all ages and all branches of the military.