Veterans maintain display jet

LIHUE — Daniel Degracia of the Kauai Veterans Center chuckled as he watched a group of veterans huddled under the body of a Douglas A-4E Skyhawk as showers fell Thursday morning.

“This is just like the ‘ol days,” Degracia said. “Everybody would hide under the trucks or under the trees when it rained. It’s a good thing I covered my wires.”

The veterans, including those representing the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army, and the Korean War, were busy scraping and sanding down old paint from the Vietnam-era aircraft on display at the Kauai Veterans Center.

“It’s been 15 years since we did any kind of major maintenance on this aircraft,” said J.Q. Smith, the vice commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps League. “We need to take care of this because it’s not our plane. It’s on loan from the Pensacola Museum in Pensacola, Florida.”

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