It was up, up, and away this morning for a group of civilians from Minot -- up in a North Dakota National Guard Blackhawk helicopter...a reward of sorts for the strong support of the Guard.
Shortly after nine this crew made the trek to the chopper for a trip to Devils Lake where they spent time at Camp Grafton learning what the Guard does around the state.
The group Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve organized the flight as a way to say thank you for the strong support of guard members.
When they serve, they leave jobs behind...a tough spot for employers, yet Tom Rafferty says the support is always there..
(Tom Rafferty) "You could say we are rewarding companies in our town that have shown support of the Guard. We are doing that by giving them a Blackhawk ride. It is called the 'Boss Lift'." (Kevin Harmon - Minot State University) "I am excited like a little boy getting to fly on a Blackhawk helicopter. As well as go back to Devils Lake. I have spent some time there and I am really looking forward to the experience." >
Harmon was representing Minot State...
The University played a big role in housing guard members last year during the Mouse River flood...and this flight was a bit of a thank you for that support...
(Kevin Harmon - Minot State University) "Education and the National Guard have always been good partners and I think this was a way to reach out to each other for the betterment of our community. I think that is what the National Guard and our University wish to be all about."
The group of close to a dozen was back on the ground in Minot late this afternoon.