Vietnam veteran returns from honor flight

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Vietnam veteran who flew helicopters in combat is back from his honor flight to Washington D.C.

Kennard Frank Hill is a native of Petrolia but after spending two years at Midwestern State University and then two years at the University of Texas he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

“I went to jump school thinking I’d be assigned to the 101st airborne but my flight school came through in time,” Hill said. “So, I went to flight school and when I finished flight school I went right straight to Vietnam as a Second Lieutenant.”

While in Vietnam, Hill was assigned to the 121st assault helicopter company which is also known as the world-famous Soc Trang Tigers. Hill spent two tours in Vietnam but it was something that happened on his second tour that he still hasn’t forgotten about today.

“The Tet Offensive, which pretty well was the largest battle in Vietnam,” Hill said. “It went on for almost a month and we lost a lot of people. We flew a lot of combat missions in a short period of time.”

Once returning home, Hill said there wasn’t a lot of recognition for Vietnam veterans.

“There was a huge anti-war sentiment,” Hill said. “When T got out the anti-war sentiment had reached almost a peak frenzy. Some of it was justified. It was a war that we probably should not have fought but once we were there we did our jobs.”

Because of this, Hill was nervous when he left for his honor flight, something put on by a non-profit organization to honor American’s veterans for all of their sacrifices, a little more than a week ago

“This is the first time I’d ever been anywhere where I was recognized for my service and the whole trip, everywhere we went,” Hill said. “You worry about our country, but you don’t have to worry about our country supporting the military.”

It’s because of those like Hill, who fought to defend this country, all so we can live free.

If you or someone you know would like to apply, know what all the trip entails or how you can donate to the organization so more vets can take the flights, click here.

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