Keeping the memory of veterans alive at the Perryville Fly-In event
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - Keeping the memory of veterans alive is one of the messages at Perryville’s Annual Fly-In Event, and another is aiming at creating the next generation of pilots.
The Third Annual Fly-In brought hundreds of people from all over to watch aircrafts fly and also the opportunity to experience what it’s like to fly in a military aircraft.
For one veteran, Bill Talepk, it is exactly what he did nearly 55 years ago.
“I was a beer drinkin’, girl chasin’, corvette driving kid, then six months later I was in Vietnam in a combat infantry position,” Talepk said.
Talepk used to go to Southeast Missouri State University. But instead of studying, he was overseas, serving his country.
“I was going to Southeast Missouri State university, junior year summer school,” Talepk said. “I was shot down in a helicopter crash and burned. Obviously I survived, I’m still here, but my best buddy at the time didn’t, but yeah it was a bad time.”
Greg Gremminger helps organize this event with the Perryville Regional Airport. While their goal is to keep the heritage of the military known, it’s also a chance to inspire a new generation of pilots.
“As pilots we want to promote aviation, we need more kids into wanting to fly, getting into aviation, and there are careers there for people,” Gremminger said.
Talepk said life is kind of like a helicopter, it goes up, goes down, but you can always take back control. Now he’s back doing what he likes to do. Beer drinkin’, Corvette driving, but no more girl chasin’. Talepk and his wife enjoy their time out together with their Corvette.
“We were married in 1973, so we just celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary,” Talepk said. “I’m driving a brand new C8 engine corvette, with my girl, my girlfriend, now my wife.”
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