Acts of Valor: Cobra Pilot

Shot through the kneecap, brought his bird home

At the Gainesville Regional Airport in Gainesville, Florida fly-in Veteran Appreciation Day, I met a Cobra pilot from Vietnam. Limping and pushing his wife in a wheelchair, he came up to the Valor Gear booth. He had seen my Cobra Bell AH-1 shirt and wanted to get one his size. He said he used to fly a Cobra in Vietnam. Intrigued, I asked him to tell me about it. He said that while on patrol, they came under heavy fire and a bullet came up through the floor and took out his kneecap. He said he didn't feel the wound at first and it was more like an electric shock. Bleeding and unable to use his leg, he managed to get the chopper back to base where he crash landed it. After multiple surgeries, he still had trouble walking but was fairly mobile. He loved the Cobra, but due to his injuries he was grounded. He bought a shirt (I give discounts to Vets), we shook hands (with me thanking him for his service) and he limped off pushing his wife’s wheelchair. I would like everyone to remember that our freedom is not free. Sometimes the cost is just living with the wounds given for the freedom we all share.

Valor is in you. Set it free.

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