On March 28, Vera Duncan went outside at Tashua School for a fire drill. Then the wind picked up.
"I thought it was just a fire drill," said the girl. Then she saw an HH-60M helicopter float down from the sky and booted feet exit the rescue vehicle.
"I said, 'That's my daddy,' and Mrs. Byers said I could go over and give him a hug," Vera said.
Her father, U.S. Army Major Clayton Duncan collaborated with the school to take the helicopter from Sikorsky in Stratford into Trumbull. That day, he was also his daughter's class' "mystery reader," and later read H is for Hero.
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The pilot also delivered Vera a stuffed Clifford the Big Red Dog, which she got for her turn at being "Student of the Week" in her class.
Other students also got to explore the helicopter before it took off, performed some aerial maneuvers and flew over the Hudson River and back to Stratford.
The Duncan family consists of Clay; his wife Nadia; Vera and 4-year-old Charlie. They have lived in Trumbull for two years and will be moving again by the summer.
Clay Duncan is government flight representative who has six years left out of 20 in the Army. He said he became a pilot "for the challenge." The couple, originally from Ohio, has been married for 11 years and lived in Ohio, Colorado, Alabama and Missouri, but say they like Trumbull.
"This is absolutely the most fulfilling [town]. We've made the closest friends here and love the community," said Nadia Duncan.
Duncan has served two one-year tours in Iraq.