FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Following the unveiling of the permanent Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum this weekend, some people will have the opportunity to take flight in a piece of military history.
The museum on O'Day Road has been working for years to bring a replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. to Fort Wayne.
Construction recently wrapped up, and organizers plan to host a dedication ceremony at the grounds Saturday at 11 a.m.
Following the ceremony, a non-profit Veterans organization will offer membership-only flights.
The two Huey aircrafts flew into town Friday. They have been reconditioned after their time in Vietnam.
One of them is Huey Helicopter 803 Warrior 11.
Veteran pilot Don Nelson was reunited with the helicopter he flew during the war more than 10 years ago, and he's been flying it for the organization ever since.
“In 2006 I got a call from John Walker, one of the owners who found my name in the record books of this particular aircraft. He asked me if I remembered crashing in a burning L-Z in March 1968, and I said yeah! He said, well I have your helicopter here," Veteran Pilot Don Nelson said.
Members of American Huey 369 will be allowed on flights on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you're not a member, you can sign up on location for $100 a year.
Flights will be booked up to 5 p.m. and will start after the Vietnam Memorial Wall dedication ceremony.
We asked Nelson what Memorial day meant to him.
"I grew up as a young child going to cemeteries as a six-year-old, seven-year-old with family. It's a remembering time as opposed to a celebrating time," Nelson said.