Vernon Residents Welcome National Guard Blackhawk Helicopters and Soldiers

Some lucky Texomans welcomed soldiers on their way to Iraq on Wednesday. Six National Guard Blackhawk helicopters stopped in Vernon. There were 25 Army National Guard soldiers and each one came in with a big appetite.

It is not the first time Vernon residents have cooked a homemade meal for soldiers.  David Nix, manager of the Wilbarger County Airport, says that he is proud to support the troops in this way.  Everyone is very proud that the troops are choosing Vernon for their pit stop.

Veteran organizations from Vernon provided home cooked food just to feed the soldiers who came in from Rapid City, South Dakota.

The soldiers landed at Wilbarger County Airport to fuel up, rest, and eat before they head on to Fort Bliss for one month. Before leaving to serve in Iraq for one year.

Lisa Schur, president of the Veteran Foreign War Ladies Auxiliary Organization, along with other volunteers provided brisket, fried-chicken, home made potato salad, home made rum cake, and red beans.

Solider Ryan Wiley tells Newschannel 6 that a home cooked meal is a very nice treat, and a change from the same old cafeteria like food they eat on a daily basis.  This home cooked meal is helping boost moral for the troops who are ready to defend our freedom.

Ryan says, "This will probably be the last home cooked meal that we have, so I know a lot of the guys were looking forward to stopping. Some skipped breakfast just so they can eat more."

These soldiers fly in pairs in the Blackhawk helicopters. There is one crew chief and one medic.  When done with their training at Fort Bliss these soldiers will be in Iraq providing medical evacuation for the entire middle region of Iraq.

Staff from the Wilbarger County Airport say this is not the first time Vernon has had soldiers pass through.  In the past two years they have had about three or four groups stop by.