It's thousands of miles away, but a military copter flying in Afghanistan will have a Lincoln tie: It's being named after Lincoln's roller derby team.
The newly named "Mad Maxine" is a CH-47 D Model Chinook and is part of the 2-135 General Aviation Support Battalion of the Nebraska Army National Guard out of Grand Island.
One of the skaters with the No Coast Derby Girls, Brenda Briley, went to high school with Staff Sgt. Rick Carter, the flight engineer of the helicopter. He'd been to a few bouts and wanted some stickers for the bird, but then he thought to take it one step further.
Let's name the thing and paint it on the ramp, he told her.
So the Derby Girls put it up to Facebook for suggestions, with this note: "She's one tough lady who's a hard worker and has been through hell, but still keeps flying every day! Help us come up with (a) derby name for the crew to paint on her ramp. What an honor for the No Coast Derby Girls!"
They got names like the "No Coast Beatdown" and "Choppin' Chelsea" in homage to the nicknames the roller derby girls have.
But the best suggestion came from another derby skater serving in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Leah Luebbe, who came up with Mad Maxine. That's the name of Lincoln's all-star squad.
Andrea Tarnick, captain and executive director of Lincoln's No Coast Derby Girls, said they are excited their name is on a military chopper. She said the derby girls do military appreciation nights once a year where military personnel get in free to a derby girls bout. The next appreciation day is May 19.
"We like to show appreciation for what they do for us and it's cool for them to think of us for their helicopter," Tarnick said. "It's an honor."