LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performed a 30-minute flyover Saturday afternoon, crisscrossing the Las Vegas valley on a path that took them above 16 area hospitals.
The purpose of the special flyover was to thank front line workers in the fight against COVID-19.
"We were looking at how we could continue to fly and also give back to the community with a salute to the real heroes out there on the front lines who are keeping us safe from the virus," said Brig. Gen. Robert Novotny.
WATCH THE FLYOVER BELOW:
The Thunderbirds said there was no need for people to gather in special areas to view the flyover. People were able to watch from their yards from many places in the valley.
At the Southern Hills Hospital, several emergency room and intensive care members were able to walk to the helipad and enjoy the show.
One of them was Paul Hamil, critical care director of the facility. He was proud and excited to be a part of this opportunity, especially because he served in the armed forces for 24 years and is a retired Air Force major.
“These guys are excellent in everything they do, you know, precision, kind of like the values we preach were we live, here as our code, I mean, the I-care standards, except in the air”, said Hamil.
When the moment came, everyone, including Paul, took out their cellphones and recorded the jets in the sky, while enjoying the view and the loud noise.
It was just a couple of minutes that will last in their minds for much longer.
“It’s heroes honoring heroes and I love it. it’s amazing, they’re amazing, definitely will never forget it.”
The Southern Hills Hospital is grateful to both the Thunderbirds and the community for their support during this fight and they encourage everyone to keep social distancing and take precautions.
We salute the healthcare workers and first responders who are at the forefront of our nation’s fight against COVID-19. They are an inspiration for the entire country during these challenging times and it was an honor to fly for them today. #VegasGoesBlue pic.twitter.com/eoXeSLIKAF
— Thunderbirds (@AFThunderbirds) April 12, 2020
An inside look at #VegasGoesBlue by your @AFThunderbirds 🇺🇸 #ICYMI , you can watch the salute to the first responders, health providers & the entire Nation #inthistogether ! https://t.co/Mol8xRRURL #COVID19 @usairforce @DeptofDefense @EsperDoD pic.twitter.com/hAITIaD8M2
— Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett (@SecAFOfficial) April 12, 2020
This story was originally published by Jordan Gartner, Jason Dinant and strid Mendez at KTNV.