UPS honoring veterans during Thunder flyover - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UPS honoring veterans during Thunder flyover

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's all eyes on the sky this weekend during Thunder Over Louisville, and one flight you'll see will be run by a very special crew.

This will be the fourth time UPS has flown over the event. This year, the selection process included a special tribute to those who've served our country.

Troy McCullum, an aircraft maintenance manager for UPS, served in the Air Force for four years. His job is to oversee the team preparing a 767 for the flyover.

"Again, any discrepancies, any damage, any what we call delamination, all those discrepancies will be addressed and repaired before the next flight," he said.

Veterans were chosen to help with everything from the planning, preflight inspection, even the flight itself.

"This is an all veterans crew," said Captain Lou Casale. "My first officer is a safety observer, as well as the entire ground crew are all veterans."

Capt. Casale flew in the Air Force for more than 20 years. He served during the Bush Administration, flying around First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. He says being recognized by his company is a huge honor.

"It's fantastic", he said, "just to know that your bosses and the people in the senior leadership of the company appreciate the sacrifices veterans have made for this country."

UPS employs 24,000 veterans here in the United States including 2,000 in Kentuckiana. Company-wide, there are more than 900 who are currently deployed.

Saturday's event will include two fly-bys. They'll make one pass at a slower speed and the second at more than 300 miles an hour.

"Well it's special it kind of makes us all proud," said co-pilot Joe Bell. He flew an air ambulance in the Air Force for more than 13 years and says this weekend's event is humbling.

"Not just because we're veterans," said Bell, "but we get to honor the people who still are serving, the families who support the veterans who are serving so it's a lot of fun and a great honor for us all."

UPS will also honor veterans on the ground during a party with their families. They'll even recognize a group of "Wounded Warriors" from Fort Knox.

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