The day I flew on a blackhawk.

I have vowed not to talk about work on my blog, but through my work, I had a really cool day last week that I just have to talk about.

I handle policy issues for my boss dealing with several subject matters, including the Texas Military Forces (Texas State Guard, Army and Air National Guard).  I represented my boss at an event last week in South Texas in which the Texas Military Forces provided medical services for the indigent.  We took a plane to South Texas that looked like a miniature Air Force One, complete with “United States of America” plastered across the side.  Upon our return to the military airport in Austin, we piled in a blackhawk to travel to Camp Swift. I was traveling with the leader of the Texas Military Forces and a few of his staff.  At Camp Swift we were able to see some of the National Guard participate in a very indepth training exercise and meet several members of the Guard.  Professionally, the day was a day of learning for me.  I was very glad to have been invited and feel like I will be better at my job for the experience.  Personally, the opportunity to spend the day with some really cool people and experience a ride in a helicopter–let alone a Blackhawk–made me grin from ear to ear.

The event in the morning required me to dress up a little.  This meant that I was wearing white slacks, a light colored sleeveless top, a linen jacket, wedge heels (Toms, not dressy) and pearls.  This was all appropriate for the morning event, in which there were lots of people in their uniforms (green ones, not the dressy ones), and then others in suits and “church clothes” type stuff.  I fit in just fine and represented my boss seemingly in a professional way.

But I suddenly felt ridiculous climbing into this helicopter with my purse on one shoulder.  I  was traveling with 5 men in full military get up.  When we landed in a field, and I stepped out in my wedges, it became more rediculous.  I did shove my jacket in my purse.  It was about 105 degrees outside and the helicopter did not have air conditioning.  I had sweat dripping down my back, legs, arms, etc.

I clip-clopped around dirt roads and tall grass for about two hours with the 5 men I was with, meeting soldiers and watching the training exercise.  The fact that my toes were freshly pedicured seemed crazy.  I could hardly see my polish for all the dirt that accumulated on my toes.  When I got home, I literally wore my shoes in the shower to clean them.

On the return trip, the pilot let us keep the doors to the blackhawk open.  This made the trip even more exhilerating but had one of the incredibly nice men I was with not clipped my purse to the floor, it would have been history.  I also determined that if I lifted my feet off the ground at all, my shoes would have flown right out the door.  That’s what flying through the air at 150 miles an hour with the doors open will do to ya!

It was an incredible day, and I am grateful for the experience.  It certainly beat a day at the office.

3 responses to “The day I flew on a blackhawk.

  1. My husband, Ron, flew those in the Alaska Air National Guard. It is quite a ride! So glad you got to experience that!

  2. That sounds really fun!! Thanks for sharing! -Katie Baine

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