By Alex Modesitt
9 hrs ago
“When I got back from Vietnam I was tired of sleeping on the ground. So I joined the Air Force,” Dierdorf joked. Dierdorf served out the rest of his 27-year armed services career with the U.S. Air Force.
Ken Dierdorf wanted so badly to sit alongside his Army brothers and feel the rush of air blow through an open-sided UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” one last time at Saturday’s Terre Haute Air Show.
But fate, weather and his advanced Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — ALS — wouldn’t allow it.
Meant as one last hurrah for a group of Vietnam veterans who call themselves the “Dirty Half Dozen,” the Visiting Nursing Association and Hospice of the Wabash Valley arranged for Dierdorf and his U.S. Army brethren from around the country to take one last ride in a Huey.
But the flight, scheduled to take off around 9 a.m., was grounded due to fog blanketing the airfield. True to form, as the soldiers’ wives tell it, the group didn’t pay the weather much attention as they waited, instead they took the opportunity to catch up on each others’ goings on and tell stories.
And boy were the stories from veterans that served together in second platoon of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, Bravo Company worth hearing.
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