Blackhawk helicopter pilot visits Artesia seniors after tour-of-duty in Afghanistan
Afghanistan medical evacuation pilot Robert Vaughn visits Artesia seniors after him and his crew received helmet hats sewn by Artesia seniors and distributed by Operation Gratitude
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Vaughn visited Artesia’s seniors to express thanks for the hard work done by Operation Gratitude, a program headed by Artesia seniors to send various supplies and goods to the armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Vaughn is currently on R & R from the 101st Airborne (Band of Brothers), Task Force Shadow, in Afghanistan. Robert, his wife Helen and family live in Tennessee. On his way to visit his mother and father in San Diego, he took the time to stop by the Artesia Senior Center to thank Barbara Van Den Hazel and the seniors for the packages they sent to him and his unit of 25 soldiers in Afghanistan.
Van Den Hazel said she was proud to send the supplies and helmet hats to soldiers overseas.
Van Den Hazel spearheaded this project and proudly brought them to the center for all of the seniors to meet him and his family. 15 of his family caravanned over to the center and Barbara provided Pilar, a Belly Dancer, to entertain for all those present.
Vaughn is a pilot on a Blackhawk Medical Evacuation helicopter. He presented Barbara Van Den Hazel a plaque and American Flag in appreciation for all her humanitarian efforts. He also presented the Artesia Senior Center a plaque and American Flag.
The plaques read: “This American Flag was flown by: C Co. 6-101st Aviation Regiment
Presented to the Artesia Senior Center, so that all shall know, this flag was flown on a combat medical evacuation mission MM (E) 06-21 D/E over the skies of Afghanistan in the face of the enemy on 21 Jun 2008 and bears witness to the dedicated unhesitating service to our fighting forces.” “D.U.S.T.O.F. F.
The Artesia Senior Center continues to knit and crochet helmet hats for the troops overseas. In order to continue this mission they are in need of yarn. If you have any extra yarn and would like to donate to the center please call 562-860-3361.