HATTIESBURG, Miss – A 2009 visit to the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby led to a helicopter dedication.
While touring the museum Dr. Elton Mac Huddleston noticed a picture on display of a man landing a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter onto a “Tango” boat.
Huddleston said he, “Screamed like a little girl who just got the news to be homecoming queen,” when he realized he was looking at himself. He informed the museum director and after several years of anticipation; Huddleston was honored with a helicopter dedication.
However, this Vietnam veteran doesn’t think he deserves all the attention, “I am not a hero,I am not a hero,” added Huddleston.
Dr. Huddleston is a veteran, veterinarian and a humble man, “I’m just an American fighting man who took that oath of office that says in swear and affirm to uphold the constitution of the united states of America.”
Dr. Huddleston was part of the Aviation Army for three years, “You take off. You know where you left, but you don’t know where you’re going to come back or when you going to come back.”
The army aviator doesn’t refer to himself as a hero; he said he represents those that fought for their country when it wasn’t the popular choice. But his friend felt differently, “Anybody that fought in Vietnam is a hero in my book,” said William Hathcock.
Sid Bondurant added that people who haven’t been in a combat situation will never understand the seriousness. Bondurant said it wasn’t easy to go into combat as a young man, “Risking your life and it’s all for the fellow human beings that are Americans. It’s just one of those things people will never fully be able to understand. That’s a hero to me”
Dr. Huddleston said he just wants to be an inspiration for future generations, “I hope it’ll motivate young men and women too now to look at army aviation. It’s a lot of pressure, it’s a lot of danger, but it’s also a lot of rewards.”