TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – This aviation expo brings the past and present together.
There are a variety of aircraft and authentic military vehicles on display.
All proceeds from the event go to support veterans who have been wounded while serving the country. It’s also a chance to honor Vietnam veterans.
“Remembering the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and helping raise funds to support our current veterans coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Rex Moody, who is retired from the USMC.
And there is a wall of remembrance, with photos of men and women who have paid the ultimate price defending our freedoms since 1991.
There are some unique opportunities here at the Air Expo. For a price the public can take a ride on either the Huey, or a Cobra gunship. Either way , it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
The rides are provided through the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation. The non profit group operates these flying museums. Media were allowed to ride on this Huey, which was shot down and recovered three separate times in Vietnam.
I was also fortunate enough to take a ride on the Cobra gunship, Mayor Jason Shelton also got to be a passenger on the sleek and effective war bird.
“It was a blast,” Mayor Shelton said.
The expo also gives grade schoolers a chance to learn about the military from those who answered the call to service. And for some students, a chance to earn prizes.
You got a Marine shirt? “Yessir.”
How did you get that? “By doing pushups”
How many? “fifty”
Awesome, so you could be a recruit one day? “Yessir,” said Nathan Collins, a student at Lakeview Baptist Academy.
Along with honoring veterans, organizers of the Aviation Expo say it’s also crucial to instill a sense of pride and duty in young people, who after all, are the future heroes and defenders of the USA.
Admission is free. For more information go to www.facebook.com/NorthMSAviationExpo