Plenty of vacations offer the chance to see where historical events took place, but few give you an idea of what they felt like. The nonprofit Army Aviation Heritage Foundation provides a unique United States travel experience that both educates and exhilarates.
Run by veteran and civilian volunteers, the AVHF maintains military aircraft and actually takes visitors onboard and into the air for an unforgettable form of adventure travel. The organization currently has vehicles from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, according to its website. Though there is a definite thrill to flying in these authentic machines, the AVHF's main purpose is education. The wars in Korea and Vietnam are some of the least understood in U.S., history and veterans have taken it upon themselves to give the public a new perspective.
"It was a love-hate relationship as an infantry officer in Vietnam," Ralph Kahlan, a Huey 354 pilot, told CNN, speaking of the aircraft.
This mix of emotions is something that cannot be adequately described by a textbook or historical tour. The AVHF hopes to remedy that by allowing people to fly alongside people who rode the craft during wartime and learn from their experiences.
Programs are held throughout the U.S. and include historical reenactment and flights in Huey and Cobra helicopters. The organization's website provides a calendar, which changes from year to year.