PERRYVILLE , MO. (KFVS) - If you ever wonder what it feels like to fly in a helicopter during wartime, the Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial are teaming up with Friends of Army Aviation to show you.
John “Doc” Holladay is a veteran who served 27 years in Vietnam. He’s honoring his fallen comrades by showing people what they went through on a helicopter named Huey.
“When they get on this aircraft and they hear the noise of this aircraft that’s the sound freedom,” Holladay said. “We do some of the maneuvers of the aircraft that we did in Vietnam so that when your in the aircraft you can actually feel and participate in what it was like 50 years ago.”
Holladay has a special connection with this aircraft because it saved his life.
“I flew covers and I also flew the slick behind me and I was shot down twice because the good Lord was lying to the left my crew got out we saved the aircraft," he said.
Holladay said flying the public in Huey gives him a sense of closure.
“I never told anybody. My family, my wife didn’t know but after I got involved with what I’m doing now it all now is becoming easier to express,” he said.
Jane Wright took a ride on the helicopter and she said it helped her understand what her husband went through in Vietnam.
“Like, I connected to what he experienced and what all the veterans experienced riding in that helicopter," she said.
Holladay said this legacy aircraft will continue to tell the story of those 58,000 soldiers who lost their lives.
“This happened over 50 years ago, and now this aircraft is now a mainstay of the Army. We actually laid the groundwork for the mobility the Army has today,”he said.