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Archive for Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lawrence preschoolers witness Black Hawk helicopter landing

March 27, 2013

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Richard Gwin/Journal World Photo. Malia Suttton, age 3, looks out the window of a Blackhawk Helicopter as she and preschoolers at the First United Methodist Church, 867 Highway 40, were treated to a surprise visit from the U.S. Army.

Richard Gwin/Journal World Photo. Malia Suttton, age 3, looks out the window of a Blackhawk Helicopter as she and preschoolers at the First United Methodist Church, 867 Highway 40, were treated to a surprise visit from the U.S. Army.

Richard Gwin/Journal World Photo. Preschoolers at the First United Methodist Church, 867 HIghway 40, were treated to a surprise visit from the U.S. Army as Capt. Josh Urban (one preschooler's father) and his crew flew their Black Helicopter to Lawrence, on Wednesday March 27, 2013.

Richard Gwin/Journal World Photo. Preschoolers at the First United Methodist Church, 867 HIghway 40, were treated to a surprise visit from the U.S. Army as Capt. Josh Urban (one preschooler's father) and his crew flew their Black Helicopter to Lawrence, on Wednesday March 27, 2013.

It appeared in the distance, looking like a bird flying high above the treetops. Eager faces awaited its landing, many with an expression of youthful amazement.

"Here it comes!" someone in the crowd of hundreds yelled out.

The gazers pointed, then cheered, louder and louder, as the object got closer, till you could hear its blades chopping the cold air.

This was no bird.

A U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter landed in the soccer field at First United Methodist Church's west campus Wednesday afternoon, as 150 Kids First Preschool students, along with their parents and siblings, watched eagerly from inside.

One boy covered his ears and another girl cried, while many of their classmates banged on the windows.

"Oh my gosh, it's awesome!" a parent said as the kids cheered and the adults shot pictures with their cameras and smartphones. "Do this every Sunday and you'd have a lot more people coming to service," another adult joked.

Two of the soldiers in the chopper had especially big fans in the audience: Army Capt. Josh Urban and Maj. Matthew Jordon, who are both based out of Forbes Field in Topeka and live in Lawrence, each have kids at the school. It was like a parents career day — on steroids.

"It was cool," 4-year-old Tyler Urban said of his dad's landing of the chopper, as his 2-year-old brother, Kole, stood by. Tyler added that the best part of the day was seeing "our daddy."

"It's always enjoyable to do stuff like this," said Urban, who has done tours in Iraq and Kuwait. "It's good to support community events. When you have a good group of kids like this, it's special."

But events like this might be on the way out, at least temporarily. As of April 1, the Army will no longer put on these types of educational programs, the result of federal budget cuts.

Teachers and administrators at Kids First were glad the calendar still said March.

"It is something they will probably never get to see again," said preschool director Susan Sachse.

The event also coincided with subject matter the kids have been learning about in class recently.

"We've been talking about transportation all month: how planes don't have steering wheels. We've also talked about pilots," said teacher Kathy Willis.

The children were able to tour the massive helicopter, strapping themselves in the seats and working the controls (which weren't on, of course) in the cockpit of the roughly three-decade-old, brownish-green chopper.

"I like the front!" said 4-year-old Brylee Miller. Her classmate, 5-year-old Maxtin McCurley, similarly said his favorite part was "sitting in the front seat."

"I liked when it landed," said 5-year-old Ethan Crisp, adding that he enjoys playing with Army-themed toys.

Back inside, the youngsters got to try on the soldiers' night-vision goggles, bulletproof vests and helmets.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 9 months ago

It's never too early for the military-industrial complex to begin the indoctrination process.

webmocker 1 year, 8 months ago

Because a firetruck and a military helicopter are used to accomplish such similar goals. Or are they?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Umm. firetrucks carry hoses to shoot water, that puts out the fires of burning buildings, but doesn't fire missiles and cannon that start them afire and/or blow them up (making fire superfluous). What is your bet about whether this particular aircraft is heavily armed? And how successful would that weaponry be in putting out fires?

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 9 months ago

Everyone wants to be in the pilots seat! I wish I could have saw this as old people, well some of us, like things like this. I would like to fly in one. They are extremely cool in my opinion.

foggydew 1 year, 9 months ago

Thanks, Bozo. That's what I was thinking.

basic101101 1 year, 9 months ago

I knew i heard a military bird flying around lawrence.

Judgesmails 1 year, 9 months ago

Pile on, haters.

Lighten up, its a cool helicopter.

webmocker 1 year, 8 months ago

Granted, it is cool. But is it as cool as almost one entire Rock Chalk Sports Complex? :-) UH-60: US$21.3 million (avg. U.S. procurement, 2012)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

"Lighten up, its a cool helicopter."

This helicopter's primary purpose is to facilitate the killing of people who are alll to often described as "women," "children" or "civilian." And these account for by far the majority of those who are killed or maimed.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

Of course, sometimes the helicopter is used for our common defense in which case, it's facilitating your freedom of speech, your freedom of religion, your freedom of the press. It's not the helicopter, it's how it's used.

skull 1 year, 8 months ago

If they wanted to protect MY freedoms, they should've stayed in topeka, don't look to be heavily armed enough though.

Anthony Mall 1 year, 8 months ago

You must of learned this in your military career right??? Probably not... As a veteran I have seen more occasions where Blackhawks have delivered food and aid to women, children and civilians... Perhaps if your liberal media would cover any of the daily actions of the military besides casualties of war you woukd know that... Or if you had bothered to defend the country you constantly complain about!!!

skull 1 year, 8 months ago

Liberal media printed this article about the daily actions of the military...don't see any mention of casualties of war. I do see some government waste that could be trimmed though, like these two guys and their twenty million dollar helicopter based in Topeka to "defend the country" I constantly complain about.

Anthony Mall 1 year, 8 months ago

Or the 250 million just sent to egypt right??? Yes, the liberal media printed this... Just to give liberals something else to complain about online!!! The army landed a chopper at a pre-school!! Clearly those kids didn't enjoy it, parents obviously complained, and the whole thing was to get 3-5 year old children to join right?? Speaking of govt. waste, have you seen how big the govt has become?? Have you watched the debt in the last 3 years??? Your right, landing at a pre-school (which counts as training hours, and flight hours that pilots have to have to stay certified) is the worst thing going on...

skull 1 year, 8 months ago

Just giving you the reality check your "liberal media" hating comment garnered. $250 for ten blackhawks, or an ally in the mideast. I'm sure the military budget hasn't grown at all in the last (let's get it right now) 10-12 years. When people are starving in this country and abroad and our military is so large our pilots have to play hero at their kids preschool all day, this is not the great country you think it was.

But no, captain obvious, this is definitely not the worst thing going on, nor did anyone say it was. Nor did they say that blackhawks were never used to help civilians as well. I love my country, I'm just not blind to all the things its government (military and civilian) does.

Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

That's odd. The military has several helicopters that are much better suited to the delivery of humanitarian aid.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

Sometimes you just use the helicopter that's nearest.

Do you recall the evacuation of the American Embassy in Saigon, where they were tossing helicopters off the deck of aircraft carriers. Maybe there were better helicopters for evacuations and maybe there were better landing sites than aircraft carriers, but none were available.

skull 1 year, 8 months ago

Blackhawk helicopters don't kill people, people kill people.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Yes, the military can be used to good purpose-- too bad it's so regularly used for bad purpose by our corporate overlords.

Bob Forer 1 year, 8 months ago

Absolutely. And after your preschooler views the "cool" helicopter in person, it would behoove responsible parents to rent "Black Hawk Down" so their preschoolers y can see the cool machine in action. along with plenty of blood, guts and carnage which is "way cool."

irvan moore 1 year, 8 months ago

uh, military helicopters and their crews save American soldiers lives

skull 1 year, 8 months ago

uh, how many lives were saved on this mission?

grammaddy 1 year, 8 months ago

Uh oh. Were they coming for our guns?

Clark Coan 1 year, 8 months ago

Military displays are propaganda techniques expressly designed to get the public to support huge military budgets and wars or military strikes about every three years. And it is all paid for by taxpayers.

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