Boshear's Skyfest Helicopter rides more than just a fun time for vets

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News 12 at 11 O' Clock / Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- There is a lot to be seen and heard at the Boshear's Skyfest, but in the distance above all the white noise there is one sound more meaningful than the rest. To you and I this is a loud chopper, startling and exciting, but to veterans who frequent the Sky Soldiers demonstrations, it's like therapy.

"Everybody has some kind of relationship you can talk to guys and they have flashbacks to where they were," said Stuart. "Sometimes it was a good sound to me, sometimes it was a bad sound," said Stuart.

Lee Stuart has been flying with them since 2000. He says for him its less about the flying and more about the memories.

"Whether I ever fly again it doesn't matter. Its the comradery, its being around the vets, its being around the military," said Stuart.

Air Boss Jim Brennan says for some of the vets they meet around the country seeing the Huey is like reuniting with an old friend.

"A lot of them have not been near, on or even around a Huey in 40 plus years," Jim Brennan.

This Huey was built to be a medevac to help the injured during the Vietnam War.

"A lot of them will tell you the last time they were flying in a Huey, it was either taking them into a hot LZ or more important taking them out of a hot LZ," said Brennan. "Just to be next to an air craft that really took care of them. You know when they heard the sound of that Huey they knew it was good news," said Brennan.

Brennan says being up here isn't just about remembering the past.

"Whats more important is getting the kids and the adults and even the Vietnam vets a little bit of closure," said Brennan.

This time around their planes are flying higher and the pilots are only looking for a smile from kids and even one of our News 12 photographer.

"At first I thought it was really loud, but it was awesom-er when we got up in the really high sky," said Will Graybael.

Stuart says no matter if its kids, adults, or an old friend trying to reconnect still gives him chills.

"I tell them that air craft you are riding is older than your momma and daddy," said Stuart.