Local News

Get Buckled Up For The Military Without Going Through Basic Training

Posted December 18, 2000

— If you are not in the military, you may never ride in a Humvee, but a new exhibit at Fayetteville'sAirborne and Special Operations Museumwill make you feel as if you are fighting for freedom.

Vietnam veteran Spencer Gay made more than 300 jumps during his military career. Tuesday, he added another one without even getting into a plane.

"It makes you feel like you are flying right there, looking the other guy in the eye, which I did," he says.

Visitors to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum can now experience a freefall jump, riding in a Humvee or participating in a low-level helicopter assault.

The new motion simulator is the only one in the Army Museum System. Footage was filmed with real soldiers at Fort Bragg and other posts across the country.

Taking off made Vietnam veteran David Bates think about times he has not thought about in years.

"When you come into the buildings and the guy on the top is shooting at you. It brings back bad memories, but other than that, it was cool," he says.

The simulator is a way for people to experience history. It also gives visitors a closer look at what modern soldiers do. That is why Sergeant Major Willis McCloud wanted his children to go for a ride.

"I think it's great for them to see that's what we do. We don't just go out and guard gates," he says. "We actually do perform dangerous missions. Freedom isn't free. It costs lives to do what we do."

There are so many things that make the ride realistic. For example during the free fall jump, wind is blowing that really gives you the impression you are in the air.

Admission to the museum is free. However, there will be a $3 charge to ride the simulator.

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