Sullivan school field turns into helicopter landing zone

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 6:26 PM EST
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SULLIVAN, Maine (WABI) - Students at the Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus in Sullivan had quite the surprise as U.S. Army pilots flew onto their campus in a Black Hawk helicopter on Wednesday.

“Not every day kids get to see, you know, a Black Hawk helicopter. So just showing the kids a pretty advanced military aircraft. It’s pretty it’s pretty cool to see them. See something that that they think is cool,” said Warrant Officer 1 Austin McDonald, Maine Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter pilot.

Having this recruiting event during the week of Veterans Day helps the Maine Army National Guard honor those who have served and celebrate the possibility of new faces.

“Throughout the years, some of our high school has been putting on functions for Veterans Day. And in the past, I’ve brought Humvees and different pieces of equipment to the Veterans Days assemblies. And this year with the brand-new school and all, all the room that we have out here, or they have, we said ‘Hey, let’s, we’ll see if we can get a Black Hawk to land out here!’ And this is something the aviation company has done throughout the state and throughout the schools as well. Nothing I’ve requested to have done so is something like hey, new school, plenty room, why not get a Black Hawk out here?” said Sgt. 1st Class Elijah Anderson, Maine Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention NCO.

One pilot is local to the Sorrento-Sullivan area, so he especially enjoyed getting to share the experience with a school right in his area and even with his family.

“It’s awesome, and I think that that they think it’s super cool as well. So, it’s been a lot of fun being able to share that with them. You know, my family got to come down as well and show them kind of what I do. It’s awesome, it’s amazing,” added McDonald.

Students also got the opportunity to simply walk outside of their school and check out a Black Hawk.

“It’s a whole different experience for everyone. I agree. I mean, not everyone gets to see this at school especially. And then it’s cool for the little kids here from the elementary school, they see it as well,” said Sumner students Gaven and Gavin.

And reflect about what Veterans Day means to them.

“Honoring men and women of our country. They’re the ones that are protecting and preserving our rights and our freedom. I agree, especially with most of my family being veterans that have served it definitely means something to me. Thank you for your service,’ added Gaven and Gavin.