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Grand Strand Vietnam veteran returns to the sky as he fights two illnesses

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – A Vietnam War veteran had the chance to be back in the left seat of a helicopter on Monday in Myrtle Beach.

Terrence Flanigan went into the Army when he was 18 years old and served in the Vietnam War as an aircraft commander.

For eight years, he flew evacuation helicopters to help get injured soldiers to medical facilities. He was also a chief warrant officer during the war and was responsible for air operations.

Flanigan has been dealing with two health issues, COPD, a lung disease, and PSP, which is a rare condition that causes problems with balance, movement, vision and speech.

He receives care from Caris Healthcare in the Conway area, and when they learned he wanted to get back in the air one more time, the found a way to make that happen.

Caris Healthcare and Oceanfront Helicopters partnered together to make the flight come true over Broadway at the Beach.

With the help of several caretakers, Flanigan was able to take flight in the left seat of the helicopter which is very significant to him.

“Because that’s the aircraft commander, that’s the aircraft commander’s seat. That’s why sitting in the left seat is so important. It’s like being the aircraft commander all over again,” Flanigan said.

Oceanfront Helicopters also provided him with a photo and video of Monday’s flight.

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