Celebrate Armed Forces Day At The Aero Fair

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The aviation community celebrates Armed Forces Day with the theme of the Payson Aero Fair -- Honoring Our Military at the Aero Fair, Saturday, May 17.

This is a day to say, "Thank you" to all of the men and women in service to our country, fair organizers said.

At 11 a.m. Payson's Military Honor Guard, retirees and representatives of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, will present their colors. Participants to the Aero Fair will be asked to stand as they listen to the national anthem and salute these men and women.

This year, old and new military aircraft, are on display. The Arizona Army National Guard will show the UH-60 Blackhawk, the current standard infantry and MedEvac helicopter of the United States Army. The Blackhawk helicopter currently works in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ron McCauldin flies into Payson on Saturday in a De Haviland DH-4, the only United States built aircraft to see combat during World War I.

Everyone will enjoy checking out two military Jeeps and the National Guard's HUMVEE, among the most capable all-terrain vehicles in the world

Recruiters from the Marine Corps, Army, and Navy will tell the fair goers what it is like to be in the armed services these days.

Several volunteer groups who help the veterans and active military will provide information about their organization -- Marine Corps Detachment, Merritt Center Combat Veterans Program, Supply Line and Veterans Helping Veterans.

Youngster's can test their skills on the climbing wall, have their face painted or join in the ring toss. Vendors selling model airplane kits and a helicopter kite continue the aviation theme.

This aviation day tribute to the members of the military will begin with a hearty breakfast 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The Payson Pilots Association (PPA) serves pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice and coffee for only $7. As their way of thanking the service men and women, the PPA offers free breakfast to active military personnel in uniform.

The Payson Police Department Volunteers direct visitors to parking for cars outside the airport. Look for additional parking on Airport Road. Parking availability for the handicapped, shuttles to and from parking and the airport, and from the Mazatzal Casino to the airport will be running all day.

For a donation of $25 per person in a single engine airplane, individuals take a scenic flight around Payson with pilots from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter # 810. Cadets from the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) will assist with directing all ground aviation activities.

Fred the DJ will play music from the 1940s. "Pecos" Paul Foster from KMOG and a member of the Three Wheel Drive musical group, knows his airplanes and will describe to the crowd the unique features of each as they taxi to the ramp. Kit Mc Guire of KRIM broadcasts all day from the Aero Fair interviewing interesting aviators.

More 60 vendors with delicious barbecue, bakery goods, community information and special items for sale will round out the day.

Join the pilots and the representatives of the military for an exciting day on May 17, at the Payson Aero Fair.

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