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Veterans reunite with old friends

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Valerie Decker
  • 314th Airlift Wing Strategic Information Flight
Tears of pride was the only thing visible on many a veteran's face as they watched the aircraft they once flew, guarded and maintained fly again at the Airpower Arkansas Air Show Saturday and Sunday.
While the Little Rock Air Show brought in thousands of people, it was the veterans that had stories and experiences to share about the different aircraft at the show.
Vietnam veteran Lex Davis served in the Army's 52nd Infantry Company C 1st Battalion, 198th Brigade. For Mr. Davis, the C-130 Capabilities Exercise brought memories of Vietnam.
"I saw a lot of the same things from the C-130 in this air show that I saw in Vietnam," Mr. Davis said. "Their performance was very realistic, and I get very emotional and proud when I see the guys performing."
Mr. Davis served in Vietnam for six months and can relate to the men and women serving in the armed forces today.
"I have been where the military is going and I'm proud to see them standing strong," he said. "I'm very proud to be a veteran and I'm very proud to be an American. To all the vets out there that helped keep America free: Thank you."
The air show featured several aircraft including older aircraft such as the B-52 Stratofortress, also known as the BUFF. It was the B-52 that brought tears of pride to Vietnam veteran Jerry Capooth.
Mr. Capooth served in the Air Force and began his career as security police, guarding the B-52 at Barksdale Air Force Base, then went to Vietnam.
"Watching the flying demonstrations at this air show brings back a lot of memories," he said. "I guarded the B-52 for many years at Barksdale. Seeing it again at this air show was like seeing an old friend."
Seeing old friends and reminiscing was the theme of this air show for many veterans. Mr. Capooth remembered his time during Vietnam and took a moment to think of the men and women in the military today.
"I don't wish war on anyone, I know what the military is going through right now and I thank you and your families for your sacrifice - keep doing what you're doing," he said. "We're going through hard times and I'd like to thank the troops for what they're doing and I hope they come home safe."
Airmen will get the opportunity to thank the veterans in return during a formal retreat ceremony 3:45 p.m. Thursday at Heritage Park in honor of Veteran's Day.