Tomorrow afternoon, AMVETS National Commander John C. Hapner will visit with a unique Indiana non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the memory of Bell's Huey helicopters. American Huey 369, a 501 (c)(3) out of Peru, Ind., will host Hapner for a tour of their facilities and a possible ride on one of their restored helicopters, should conditions permit.
Named after the tail number of their first salvaged aircraft, American Huey 369 has worked for years to preserve the Huey as a symbolic gesture to America's veterans--particularly from the Vietnam era--who remember the Huey as a symbol of hope on the battlefield.
American Huey 369 founded Johnnie Walker says the distinctive sound of the Huey's supersonic blades often signified imminent rescue or resupply for troops pinned down deep in the jungles of Southeast Asia.
Since American Huey 369 was founded, they have managed to purchase two surplus Huey helicopters, numbers 369 and 803, restoring each to flight status through the work of an extensive volunteer network.
The organization, which now boasts a membership of more than 1,000, offers annual rides on the Hueys in exchange for volunteer work in support of the organization's mission.
Each year, American Huey 369 takes part in dozens of military and veterans' support events across Indiana and the upper Midwest, such as visits from the roving Vietnam Memorial Wall.
American Huey 369 is constantly looking to expand its reach and showcase its programs on the national stage. If you are interested in becoming involved with American Huey 369, visit their Web page, www.americanhuey369.org.
(Media: Top: Huey 369 is guided in for a landing during an event in 2008. Middle: Volunteers work on Huey 803 at the organization's hanger in 2009. Bottom: Huey 369 hovers over the roving Vietnam Memorial Wall during a Fourth of July weekend veterans' memorial celebration in Auburn, Ind. Video: American Huey 369 call-to-action video. All media courtesy of American Huey 369, used with permission.)