Columbia bikers transporting historic helicopter to honor vets

West Columbia, SC (WACH)--Tuesday morning was the start of a long journey for Larry Russell.

He and members of the Widow Sons Masonic Riders Association, a charity for military vets, are on their way to Maine for a three day celebration to honor Vietnam Vets either missing in action or prisoners of war. Friday is National MIA and POW Recognition Day.

They are also bringing a historic present with them; a helicopter that flew during the Vietnam War.

"One of the prisoners they are honoring was the one that piloted this aircraft", said Russell, President of the Celebrate Freedom Foundation. "They have a few more members of that same unit that are going to be at the celebration. So it is a reunion of pilots, crew chiefs, and the aircraft."

Russell received the Cobra helicopter from the Army a few years ago for recruiting and training purposes. Along the way, Widow Sons from each state will take turns escorting the aircraft until it reaches Old Orchard Beach, Maine for a good cause.

"We are expecting a good turnout, especially when we get there," Widows Sons Connecticut Chapter President James Mowel said. "Hopefully along the way, we can raise money for foundations and also raise awareness for veterans services."

Mowel knows first hand the meaning of helping those who serve.

"I'm also currently with the 102nd Infantry out of the National Guard in Connecticut. A lot of motorcyclists are veterans so it helps bridge the gap a little."

The crew will travel about 250 miles a day. They hope to reach Maine Friday afternoon. If you would like to help donate, visit here