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6th SOS aircrew grants very special wish

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Kristina Newton
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
The little boy sat with his knees tucked to his chest, not knowing why he was out in the heat. All he was told was there was a surprise coming just for him. He sat and waited patiently, trying to imagine what the surprise could be. Soon after, he heard the loud chop-chop-chop of a rotor blade and, moments later, he saw a UH-1 Huey directly in front of him. 

It was an Air Force helicopter from the 6th Special Operations Squadron, located at Hurlburt Field, Fla., stopping to visit him; the little boy would realize his dream of being a helicopter pilot, at least for the day. 

Although it was a short stop on a routine training mission for the men in the aircraft, for 10-year-old Christian Prockupski, it was a dream come true. 

Christian has leukemia and is currently undergoing treatment at the University of Southern Alabama's Women and Children Hospital, where the crew landed their helicopter Aug. 7. 

"He always talked about joining the Air Force," said Kevin Prockupski, Christian's uncle. 

"This is just a fantastic thing for him." 

As the helicopter touched down, Tech. Sgt. John Worthington, 6th SOS flight engineer, jumped out and made his way to the group gathered near the hospital entrance. "I'm looking for Christian," he said. "I was told he would like to be a pilot. We thought we could help him with that." 

Sergeant Worthington looked at the boy curled up in the wheelchair and asked, "Are you Christian?" The boy shyly nodded his head. "Would you like to sit in the helicopter?" Sergeant Worthington asked him. Again the boy nodded in affirmation. "Well then, let's go." 

Accompanied by family and friends, Christian boarded the helicopter. He talked to the pilots, the engineer and the gunner and learned each individual crew member's role on the helicopter. 

The crew also gave him several helicopter-specific gifts, courtesy of the 6th SOS. He was given a flight jacket, gloves, a baseball cap, challenge coins and a flight helmet signed by members of the unit as well as the 1st SOW commander. 

While Christian and his little-sister Dianna explored the helicopter, Genny Prockupski, his aunt, watched, and with tears in her eyes she said, "It's great that you can come and do something like this for somebody. I think it will give him hope, something to look forward to later in life."