November 11 was officially designated as Veterans Day in 1954. Of the 9.2 million Americans who served in the military during the Vietnam War era, from 1964 to 1975, an estimated 2.7 million actually served in Vietnam. The role of helicopters was greatly expanded during the Vietnam War.
A unique group of Americans were joined by a group of Royal Australian Navy aviation personnel to form the only Experimental Military Unit (EMU) in Vietnam, creating the 135th Assault Helicopter Company. They were stationed at a camp called BearCat, 20 miles northeast of Saigon.
Huey Vets is a Bay Area nonprofit organization created to honor Vietnam Veterans. With an all volunteer crew, their mission is to educate the public about what it was like to maintain and fly the iconic helicopters that seemed to be in television news reports every day during the war. This video clip is introduced by my friend Wayne Terry, a veteran who was a mechanic assigned to the EMU, working with other veterans of the 135th AHC:
In addition to the general public, this program is having positive impacts on veterans of the Vietnam War. Here is clip about one veteran’s experience thanks to Huey Vets:
Huey Vets has plans to fly their helicopter to an event on Veterans Day. And they hold open house events through the year so that the public can see the helicopter and hear their stories. Sadly, Wayne Terry passed away last year. To honor these veterans and support the Huey Vets mission, check out the options for becoming a member of the organization for as little as $35: http://www.hueyvets.com/
With gratitude for the service of all veterans,