Friday, November 11, 2011

Blackhawk Up! A med-vac pilot’s two tours in Iraq.

Phil Reeves’ family moved to Wilton in 1962 when he was three years old. He is a product of the Wilton public school system and has essentially been here his whole life, except when he goes to Iraq.

He started as a volunteer firefighter in Wilton in 1976 and decided that’s what he wanted to do with his life, so in 1980 when he had just turned 21 he got a job as a firefighter for the town of Westport. He worked there for six years, but while he was there he befriended a guy just out of the Army, who told him about a program where you could go into the Army and go right to flight school — from the street to basic training to flight school and fly helicopters for the Army. You didn’t need a bachelor’s degree, which all the other services require to be a pilot.

How hard could this be, he figured. He went through the whole process, which took about a year and a half and at the age of 28 he went to basic training. And from there right to Army flight school at Fort Rucker, Ala., and learned how to fly helicopters. He spent a year in Korea flying attack helicopters and from there to Fort Drum in upstate New York flying Cobra attack helicopters.

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