Huey ride adds to the experience
Last weekend I found out that being a military suspense author has its perks.
I traveled to West Point, KY to attend the bi-annual Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot as a way to learn about weapons and get a taste of how they feel, smell, and sound when in action. I came home with that experience and so much more because I got to take a ride in a Vietnam-era helicopter with Vietnam veterans as pilots.
This wasn’t a simple up and down ride. These were tried and true Dustoff pilots who enjoyed giving their riders the experience of skimming the ground, touching treetops and turning sharp corners (with the doors open, of course).
These warriors were so enthusiastic and happy to talk about their jobs, it would have been a remarkable experience just to chat with them — the ride was icing on the cake! They were trying to raise awareness of the importance of the Huey in wartime, and the undeniable fact that thousands more soldiers would have lost their lives in Vietnam if not for the daring helicopter rescues.
I urge everyone to check out the American Huey Museum and send them a donation if possible. It is a piece of history that should not be lost.
The Machine Gun Shoot was another once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget. Every type of gun imaginable was available to shoot at the targets, and everyone was in a cheerful, laid-back mood, making the entire experience a great one. Earplugs were a necessity for sure.
The military gun show of course had lots of vendors where you could buy military surplus and pretty much any weapon part from any era and any country. I had lots of fun browsing, and learning. (Research).
Even though it was a nine-hour drive, it’s one I think I will make again. Truly a fun weekend that this military suspense will never forget. I have to include a picture of the bear at the hotel we stayed in the first night of traveling, in West Virginia.
This is pretty much what greets you when you walk into the lobby. I’ve traveled a good bit, but this is the first bear I’ve encountered at a hotel.
I have a few other pictures of our return trip of the snow-covered mountains. It was a beautiful drive, but it looked a little more like January than April!
Maybe next year the weather will cooperate a little better.