Montana Air National Guard flies to show support for first responders

Posted at 7:12 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 21:12:48-04

BOZEMAN — Wednesday around 1:20 p.m., the staff at Bozeman Health were observing the 120th Airlift Wing out of Great Falls fly overhead.

“Given the COVID response, it’s so nice to see this level of support and appreciation to our care team,” said system director of retail health at Bozeman Health, Louis Mendiola.

The Montana Air National Guard (MANG) wanted to express their support for first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. First Lieutenant Garrett Bright and his crew were in one of two planes making quick flyovers over hospitals around Montana on Wednesday.

"This is just our way of giving back to them and showing our gratitude of what they’re doing for us,” Bright said.

Normally flying at around 20,000 feet, the C-130 was flying between 500 to 1,000 feet — which means they could see all the first responders on the ground.

“We’ll be at an altitude that we’ll be able to see them on the ground and be able to pick them up,” said Bright.

The flight also symbolized that the military always maintains its readiness.

“This is also showing that the Air Force, all the branches, we’re constantly staying ready," said Bright. "Ready for whatever job we need to do.”

Bright has flown all over the world, but it's his first flyover, a moment he’ll never forget, as this event is a symbol of hope," Bright said.

“This is going to be that kind of spark of light, looking back upon this time," said Bright. "I’m going to always remember this flight for the rest of my life.”

Bright didn’t want to leave our conversation without saying one last thing.

“Just a huge thank you to those first responders," he said. "Keep doing the good work and we’re all here rooting for you guys.”