My Flight in a Vietnam Era Huey...tribute to those who served and did not return.
It was one of those moments that you want for yourself. You have your reasons, you've thought about it many times before. And while it may be a little out of character, you do it anyway. That was what this ride was to me.
I think it was a mix of that romantic connection to my father's service in the Vietnam War, possibly some of the influence of Charlie Sheen riding door-side in the movie Platoon to the door gunner, and likely some of my own time that I served in the U.S. Army (1992 - 1998). I am not sure, what all it was that drew me to jump on that crazy flying machine. But as ignored my wife's request, not to go and listen to the part of me that just had to do it. I signed off my waiver and climbed aboard.
Flying over Melbourne, Florida and the area of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, I felt a sense of pride. Many men and women have served and died. Whether it was a war we liked or not, they fought in the line of duty that provided us freedoms that we enjoy today and I felt respect for that.
From take off to land the trip was an adrenaline blast and the emotions of the experience reminded why I love this country (good, bad and ugly). Here's my ride and tribute to all those who served and those who did not return!
Looking back at the Army days...
US Army basic training graduation photo, Ft. Jackson, South Carolina , 1992.
Field training and eating MRI's, Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, 1994.