PHOTOS: Vietnam Veterans Sail on U.S.S. Constitution, Receive 21-Gun Salute

by Michael Freeman

Acknowledging their service half a century ago in Vietnam, a group of veterans was recently honored in Boston Harbor. Riding aboard the U.S.S. Constitution, they received a 21-gun salute last week.

Known locally as the “Chopper crew,” they were among more than 300 veterans who participated in a cruise Friday to thank Vietnam soldiers for their service during the war. The Chopper crew arrived in Boston with the replica helicopter they built and use in parades to honor those who served in Vietnam.

The Chopper crew and their wives boarded the U.S.S. Constitution to Castle Island. Once there, a battle from the War of 1812 was reenacted, while the ship gave veterans the 21-gun salute.

The U.S. Navy also thanked the veterans for the service with a tweet on August 23.

“Thank you for your service. #VietnamWar#USNavy‘s @USSConstitution sailed into Boston Harbor on Aug. 20 with more than 300 Vietnam War veterans on board as part of @vietnamwar50th and fired a 21-gun salute in honor of Vietnam War veterans.”

Meeting with Captain John Benda, the Chopper crew also got to explore the lower deck. There, they took a close look at the cannons, hammocks, and berthing quarters the ship’s crew uses. Further, sailors gave the veterans demonstrations of various practices done several centuries ago. Old medical techniques, tying knots, and navigating the ship were but a few activities the Chopper crew witnessed.

Veteran-Owned Gym In Ohio Revitalized Thanks In Part To UFC’s Stipe Miocic

The Chopper crew aren’t the only veterans to make the news this week. UFC’s Stipe Miocic launched a new initiative to help refurbish and revitalize gyms across the country, one of which is veteran-owned. Teaming up with Modelo and the UFC, the initiative is dubbed Rebuilding Together.

Revolution Fight & Fitness is a gym specialized in training disadvantaged athletes. Claiming to be more than a “fight gym,” the organization states they are a “fight family.” Veteran Tim Stafford owns the gym, which happens to be in Miocic’s hometown, Euclid, Ohio. The UFC fighter told Cleveland’s Channel 5 he was more than happy to help.

“It means everything to me because my whole career, not even just with fighting but just as growing up as a kid. I’ve been helped out a lot. I just want to give back. I love giving back.”

In the same interview, Miocic opened up about the importance of community work. “It’s keeping people out of trouble. Kids, older kids, out of trouble. They’re not doing dumb things.”

Additionally, Miocic reveals the gym helped keep him out of trouble when he was younger too. “I was training and that’s what I was worried about,” Stipe Miocic explained. “I was beat up and sore, so I didn’t want to do anything.”

Serving as a community hub and place to help athletes, Revolution Fight & Fitness has never been better.