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Historical Huey helicopter flies high in veteran memories

The weekly troop rally at Monument Terrace featured a helicopter some of the veterans in attendance directly interacted with
Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 5:03 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - It sits at nearly 60 years old.

A 1964 model Huey helicopter was at Monument Terrace Friday during the weekly troop rally.

The historic aircraft attracted a crowd for good reason.

“It flew a lot of wounded soldiers back to the area to be treated. It carried supplies. It was just a work horse,” said Larry Saunders.

Saunders used to see helicopters like this as a combat engineer.

He says Hueys were essential during the Vietnam War, giving hope to all troops in need.

“Any of the troops that you talk to, regardless of the branch they were in, they got good words for a Huey because if they was in trouble and a Huey could get to them, they would get to them,” said Saunders.

Terry Sharpe was one of those troops.

He recalls a time he was surrounded and relied on a Huey to escape.

“We were surrounded, so we had to get out of there and that was about the biggest trip was when that Huey was being hauled up in the sky, hanging onto a rope and bullets flying around,” said Sharpe.

Like others, Sharpe is thankful for the service these helicopters brought during the war.

In the meantime, the Huey will take a trip back to Nelson County where it will stay in the Vietnam War and Foreign Conflicts Museum.

“And that’s what we want. We want people to understand it and be educated about it,” said Saunders.

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