DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — This weekend, the Friends of Army Aviation (FOAA) will hold its annual Dothan Remembers event.
For the past three years, the FOAA has brought history to life by letting people fly inside a Huey helicopter.
“The doors are open,” said FOAA President Doc Holladay. “It’s like a magic carpet ride. You’re on a platform, you look straight down and there’s nothing between you and the visibility of the ground.”
The sound of blades thumping, the wind roaring, and the sight of tiny roads and homes surround you from either side.
“The turns and the ups and downs that we do, it really gives you appreciation of what the aircraft is capable of doing and the versatility behind it,” Holladay explained.
While the rides might be the main attraction of the event, Dothan Remembers is based on something much more important.
“In that ten minute time frame, you’ll actually see some of the maneuvers we did in Vietnam,” Holladay said. “It gives you appreciation for what the veterans went through and what they had to contend with.”
Not only does the Huey foster appreciation, it also acts a healing device.
“The veterans who have not been able to converse with their family about what they did, it allows that individual to educate his family about what he was confronted with in Vietnam and how he traveled and how he got in and out of LZ’s,” Holladay said. “To us, that’s priceless.”
The Friends of Army Aviation will be behind Flowers Hospital Saturday, September 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 27 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In addition to the rides, there will also be a memorial tent filled with Army Aviation history as well as concessions and live music.
For more information, visit FOAA’s Facebook page.