[MG CRUTCHFIELD]: We’re here for a family
reunion to say goodbye to a family member: the UH-1 Huey. This is an incredible machine
as you all know and it served us proudly for over 52 years.
It was first introduced in 1959. In its first 20 years of service more than 7,000 of these
aircraft served in combat in Vietnam. More than 16,000 were built and served all around
the world. Today, with all of you present, we say goodbye and farewell to this fine war
machine. [CW4 CASTAGNETO]: To those in the crowd that
have had the honor to fly, crew or ride this magnificent machine in combat we are the chosen
few. We are the lucky ones. We understand what this aircraft means and how hard it is
for me to describe my feelings about her as a Vietnam combat pilot, for she is alive.
She has a life of her own and has been a lifelong friend.
[CW4 CASTAGNETO]: … It’s hard not to. We learn to fly in, carried us home, carried
us into battle, and carried us out of battle. Like I said, it was our mother. You sat in
this aircraft for 14, 16 hours a day every day in combat; she became a part of you. It’s
a part of you that never goes away. [SINGING: “ABOVE THE BEST”]