Military Helicopters Land In Lynchburg, Receive A Warm Welcome

Campbell Co., VA - Six OH-58 and eight Black Hawk helicopters made a pit stop in their training up and down the east coast in Lynchburg Tuesday night and there was a crowd waiting to greet the men and women on board.In all, 52 service men and women, some recently having returned from Afghanistan, were on board the helicopters that landed at the Lynchburg Regional Airport.What a special treat it was both for the civilians that got to watch these weapons of war land right in their backyard and for the men and women on board who received quite a warm welcome.Little guys with eyes glued, as 14 massive, military helicopters landed among the prop planes and private jets of Lynchburg's airport.And on board, were the heroes that fly them for a living.Like Sergeant Nathan Tate and Specialist Wesley Ranson."We maintain airspace surveillance and security of the aircraft when we fly in combat missions" said Ranson.The pair just returned from Afghanistan, six months ago."It's always good coming home. It's always good to be home" said Tate.They're home on a training mission. 52 service men and women, flying from their base in New York to train in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. On board eight Black Hawks and six OH-58s, stopping in Lynchburg to refuel and rest.When they arrived, they received a warm welcome from grateful civilians."Oh, it's absolutely awesome. I mean you could tell just by our voices in the cockpit when we kind of saw what was going on, I think everybody's spirits were lifted a little bit" said Lt. Col. Holby Cupp, a squad commander."My wife and I were there, shaking hands, thanking them for their service" said Dave Frett who came to say thank you.Because saying thank you was what this reception was all about."We're very proud of our men in uniform" said Frett."We thank everybody just the same for the level of patriotism that we usually get in all the locations that we go to" said Bill Kearns, an OH-58 pilot.The 14 helicopters and their crew stayed the night and headed out Wednesday to complete the last leg of their journey to Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
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