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Distinguished U.S. Air Force Pilot Giving Back To Veterans

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(CBS13) – A former U.S. Air Force pilot with a resume full of Hollywood-ready stories is giving back to his fellow veterans.

Bob Dohlke once risked it all for our country/ Now he’s making sure service members are well taken care of. His life has been played out in several movies.

In 1966, a small band of Green Berets were surrounded by enemy forces.

“They were done if we didn’t get the ammo in. It was all over,” he said.

He flew in under heavy fire.

“We got over target and the enemy threw everything they had at us trying to knock us down,” said Dohlke.

They almost did. The plane had 60 bullet holes in it, but somehow limped back to base. Twenty minutes after they landed, Dohlke was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

His storied flying career didn’t end there. Remember the movie “Air America”?

“The guys in maintenance would change the tail numbers then we would fly Air America missions,” he said.

Then there was the time Dohlke flew an unusual mission involving an elephant. They made a movie about that too: “Operation Dumbo Drop.” He actually flew that elephant not once but twice.

“We came in on a hot mission, picked up that same elephant, flew it to the L.A. Zoo,” he said. “If you go to the L.A. Zoo, there is the elephant and the story on how it got there.”

Dohlke flew 940 combat missions, but out of all his missions there is one that stood out the most.

“I went to Hanoi to pick up the POWs. That mission strikes me more than the rest of them,” he said.

He now helps run the energy drink company Bullet Proof Energy Drinks. Five cents from every can sold is donated to Fisher House Foundation, an organization that helps wounded troops and their families.

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