VC welcomes Michael Durant as next Lyceum guest

Michael Durant

Former Army helicopter pilot served as inspiration for the movie “Black Hawk Down”

Former U.S. Army helicopter pilot Michael Durant will speak at the VISD Fine Arts Center on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. as part of Victoria College’s Lyceum Lecture Series. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Durant was deployed to civil war-torn Somalia in 1993 as part of Operation Gothic Serpent. A coalition of elite American military personnel—including the Army Rangers, the Delta Force and the Night Stalkers—collaborated with a UN peacekeeping operation to capture Somalia’s self -proclaimed president after he declared war on UN personnel in Somalia.

The mission did not go as planned when Somalian civilians began to open fire on the US military. The events of the day are chronicled in the 2001 Academy Award-winning motion picture, “Black Hawk Down.”

While piloting a MH60 Black Hawk in Mogadishu, Durant was shot down by a Somali-fired grenade launcher and taken prisoner for eleven days. He suffered from a broken back and leg along with face and gunshot wounds.

As part of his multimedia presentation, titled “Surviving Adversity: Applying Lessons Learned in Somalia,” Durant will share some of his experiences and the lessons he learned about teamwork, leadership and overcoming obstacles.

Durant is the author of two best-selling books, “In The Company of Heroes” and “The Night Stalkers: Top Secret Missions of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment.” He is also a highly decorated member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.

Durant retired from the Army in 2001 as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 and Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator. His career spanned over 20 years, during which he received the Distinguished Service Medal and the Bronze Star among many commendations. He first served in intelligence and then as a helicopter pilot. In South Korea he flew over 150 medevac missions for a medical evacuation unit, and then joined a special operations regiment in which he flew combat missions in Operation Desert Storm in 1990.

 

If You Go...

What: VC Lyceum Lecture Series featuring Michael Durant

Where: VISD Fine Arts Auditorium

When: Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published: Thursday, 10 November 2011
 

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