CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center held it’s annual Army Heritage Days event over the weekend, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. It is a timeline living history event covering soldier history from the 16th century through the present.
“Lloyd Pinkerton served with me as my radio telephone operator in Vietnam,” Vietnam Veteran Edward Slaby said, while pointing to a name on the Moving Wall.
The Moving wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
Slaby’s friend Pinkerton is one of thousands who never returned to the soil he fought for.
“It gets easier as the time passes by,” Slaby said. “You just remember incidents. The days you spent with them. I mean we were quite a team. And it all comes back to you. Just how young we were.”
the motto of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center is telling the army story one soldier at a time.
“I’ve got a great story for ya,” Michael Caimi, Vice President of Liberty War Bird Association, said.
A Huey, or military helicopter, that flew in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970 was on display. It accumulated 1,300 combat flight hours.
“Its job was to take troops into combat, deliver them food and water while they were out in the field, bring them back home when they were done, and carry the wounded out of the battle,” Caimi said.
But the even bigger surprise came from one of the pilots who flew the Huey decades ago.
“He drove down from New Hampshire to paint the nose art on our helicopter this weekend,” Caimi said.
The former pilot left his signature inside.
“Seeing it sit here in a static position is one thing. To see it and hear it and feel the thump in your chest when those main rotor blades are going is a whole different experience. And a whole different meaning to our veterans,” Caimi said.
“The rain brought people out but you can see what the conditions are like. These men and women don’t stop for the weather. They keep going. And we hope that it drives that passion and that appreciation for those men and women,” Lindsay Strehl with visitor and education services, said.
The Liberty War Bird Association has been working to restore the Huey for about a year so they give people a feel for what it was like to fly in combat. So far they’ve raised more than $160,000 to get the job done. They hope to have it off the ground by next summer.