Helicopters, service members spend day with Lawton veterans

Published: Nov. 14, 2019 at 6:09 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - It was a special day for veterans at the Lawton - Fort Sill Veterans Center Thursday as two Army helicopters and their crews visited.

Just after 1 p.m. Thursday, a Chinook and a Black Hawk landed on the west side of the Lawton - Fort Sill Veterans Center.

"We’re currently here in preparation for mobilization overseas and we’re doing some of our training up here at Fort Sill,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jenn Hoover.

The helicopters’ crews piled out of the choppers in search of veterans to talk with.

"For us, the veterans before us have given us great opportunities and paved the way. It’s good for us to be able to give back to them and interact with our predecessors,” CW3 Hoover said.

This is the second time this event has happened at the Lawton - Fort Sill Veterans Center.

"This is a wonderful opportunity and we’re so grateful to the Army that they would make this happen. It brings back a lot of memories for our residents. It reminds me of the fact that we’re all the same family, whether you’re in the military now or you’re a veteran after you’ve served. We’re all the same family, just at different points of our lives,” said Joel Kintsel, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs.

An Army veteran himself, Kintsel says events like today’s are huge morale builder for those who served. "It honors their service, helps them realize they are still important within our community and even within the armed forces,” Kintsel said.

CW3 Hoover said it was an honor to meet with the veterans today and she hopes one day the roles are reversed.

"I hope that when I’m in their shoes a few years down the road, I can have those same opportunities to interact with our current service members at that time,” Hoover said.

Staff at the Lawton – Fort Sill Veterans Center are hoping to bring the helicopters back again next year.

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