BOONE, Iowa- A Vietnam veteran was given a special tour of the Iowa National Guard Helicopter Base here. Retired Lt. Colonel Robert Allen was surprised with a helicopter flight from the Northridge Retirement Center to the National Guard Base in Boone.
Larry DeVries of Pella brought his bright red Robinson R-44 helicopter to land at the Heartland Baptist Church Parking lot.
“It’s called a Robinson, I’m Larry DeVries from Pella,” as DeVries greeted his passenger. “Built in Torrance, California.”
“OK, I didn’t look at the pylon right,” said Allen. “I knew Bill Robinson when he was in service.”
Once on the ground, Allen was shown the one Huey Helicopter still on the base, it’s mounted up high about by the front gate. Allen was asked what models of Huey he flew.
“I flew the A’s the B’s C’s D’s, and E’s” said Allen. He served time as an instructor on helicopter systems in Florida and Southeast Asia.
Colonel Chuck Lampe heads up the Iowa National Guard Boone facility.
“We train aircrews' crew members, and we do aircraft maintenance on Black Hawk Helicopters,” said Lampe. “This is very neat for us, we’re excited to have him, we’re looking forward to gleaning a little information from him."
Allen was shown a Black Hawk Helicopter, and several drone aircraft that have flown from Boone.
Soldiers on this unit lined up to shake hands with Allen. He was presented with an American flag, flown by the unit on a mission to Iraq.
Allen said he appreciated all the work that went into planning his special day and the warm welcome he received.