Remember this was written by someone who had never been in a helicopter, so if it comes off a bit little naïve, you know why.

Man, what a burst of adrenaline that was as 30-some passengers, myself included, boarded this morning for a 40-minute ride over a part of the Mission Mountains and back through the Rattlesnake area in a Montana National Guard Chinook helicopter! 

The program is called Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, their way of saying thanks to businesses who not only hire and retain National Guard members, but the media that donates a lot of advertising time to help them promote. 

There were so many guests, we had to go in 2 shifts. We were in Group 1, so we got to go first. We were loaded


in through the rear of the helicopter. The ramp takes you to bench seating on either side. Fasten your lap belts. 

Lift off is a strange sensation. You’re up and gone before you fully realize you’ve taken off. I thought it was a little strange that they left the rear ramp partially open. Then I thought it was really strange when they opened it completely! Of course that gives you a wee bit better view. 

Face to face with mountains that you usually only see from the roads below. We were flying about 500 to 800 feet above the average terrain. Pilot kept the speeds pretty low so we could enjoy the views and retain the tasty muffins served prior to


take-off. Still lots of little dips and dives along the way. I think a few tummies were a bit queasy. 

The landing was pretty smooth and just as sudden as take-off. You’re down and away you go! Departure Pics?

It was sure an honor to be a part of this. The Guard members that were there to represent were genuinely nice people who were so appreciative of our efforts to help their members, but as usual when I’m in the presence of any military personnel, I’m the one who wants to do the thanking!


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