Look out, Wings of Justice. There’s competition in Texas, and it’s heavily armored.
Plaintiffs lawyer Tony Buzbee once fought as a U.S. Marine in the Persian Gulf. Now he’s acquired a relic from an older war and planted it, for now, on the front lawn in his tony Houston neighborhood.
The M4 Sherman tank took part in a key battle of the Normandy campaign in July 1944, shortly after the D-Day landings, according to the auction house that sold it.
Buzbee’s grandfather, a veteran of the Normandy invasion, left him with a strong sense of the importance of those events, Buzbee said.
“Anybody who knows anything about history would be interested in that,” he said.
Buzbee purchased the tank about one year ago from a French military museum that was closing its doors and selling off its assets. After making a winning bid that he has pegged at close to $600,000, Buzbee began the slow, bureaucracy-filled process of getting the vehicle to Texas.
“We had to take it through England,” and get blessings from the U.S. State Department and customs, Buzbee said.
Lest neighbors worry, the tank, which weighs about 32 tons, can no longer fire shells. And Buzbee, who successfully defended former Texas Gov. Rick Perry against abuse-of-power charges and has won more than $400 million for Texas and Louisiana clients in judgments against oil companies, said he doesn’t intend to keep the armored vehicle on his lawn forever.
In a few weeks, he plans to take the tank to his ranch, where he and his friends can strap a machine gun to it and use it to run over some junk vehicles he bought for that purpose, Buzbee said.
“Harmless fun,” he called it.