Helicopter visit takes Lawton veterans on trip down memory lane

Veterans center visit

LAWTON, OK (TNN) - Two Army helicopters made a stop to visit the veterans at the Lawton Fort Sill Veterans Center on Thursday.

Those helicopters were a CH-47 Chinook and an HH-60 Mike Model Med Evac helicopter, both from Army Reserve Aviation.

As the veterans climbed aboard the helicopters, the memories came flooding back. "It took me back a little bit there, I was on four Navy ships I served, and we used to do a lot of helicopter operations it was just out at sea,” said Retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Lance Blevins.

But, you’d be surprised by what about the helicopter sparked those memories.

"The funnest part of it for me was the smell of the aircraft, it brought a lot of good memories because I remember the smell. Walking inside there I remember those tight quarters, all the stuff I used to work with hydraulics. They let us go in there pretty far, all the way to the front so that was pretty nice of them to do and they talked to us about the aircraft,” Blevins said.

The crews flying the aircraft are currently training at Fort Sill and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sneak away for a few hours to benefit those who came before them.

"It's unique, you can kind of see the sparkle in their eyes, it brings back fond memories for them, their time in the service, their counterparts they worked with. It's always great to share in that moment with them and then also explore a little bit more about their own experiences they had while in the military,” said Lieutenant Colonel Matthew B. Hill.

While the veterans certainly enjoyed taking a walk down memory lane, they also appreciated the service members taking time away from training to come say hello.

"It takes it from your heart to welcome these veterans we have here, show they are appreciative of our service. It’s Army, but I still love it, my son is in the Army, but very nice people out here, this is great,” Blevins said.

Lieutenant Colonel Hill said the Chinook helicopter is a transport vehicle and can be used to move troops or other equipment such as Humvees. The other helicopter is a Med Evac helicopter, which Hill said is used in the battlefield to transport those who are wounded.

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