SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — Norm Erkie was inducted Friday as a Texoma Hero for his Army service in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot.

His dedication to the country is still evident today.

Lt. Col. Erkie's military career began in 1967 when he was drafted into the Army. After training, he became a helicopter pilot and received orders for Vietnam to serve as a helicopter scout and gun pilot.

During the war, he logged daily missions that lasted 13 hours.

"I wouldn't exchange it for anything," Erkie said. "Ultimately, I ended my civilian career in 2016 with 38,000 hours of flight time — and that's with airplanes, jets and helicopters as well."

While on the battlefield, Erkie was promoted to first lieutenant. His accolades include 57 air medals and the Legion of Merit.

"I did what I was trained to do, and I was surrounded by wonderful people who looked out for me," Erkie said. 

His career spanned 25 years. 

"If you're going to be successful, you have to have successful people around you and I think that was a good part of my career, I had a guardian angel and good people steering me in the right direction."

Assignments took him to Germany, Korea, and the United Kingdom where he was responsible for all battle staff operations. 

"It was in case something went nuclear, we were survivable, and it was a big, interesting deal for a southwest Kansas farm boy I'll tell you that," Erkie said. 

He was nominated by fellow Texoma Hero and friend Cindy Unerfusser. 

"The people that we're getting into Texoma Hero, their history in the military and what they do beyond the military it just doesn't stop," Unerfusser said.