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The Celebrate Freedom Foundation, a South Carolina nonprofit, has been grounded after a vehicle damaged the organization's helicopter early Saturday morning.

The foundation uses the helicopter for a one-of-a-kind program that promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEAM) in schools statewide. CFF's "$10 million field trip" has visited 150 schools and engaged 100,000 students since 2014.

According to police, the helicopter known as "Annie," was struck by a vehicle Dec. 14. Highway Patrol arrested a 37-year-old male of Harrisburg, NC, for impaired driving. Representatives said he told police he "consumed way too much alcohol," and was trying to get to I-77.

The incident occurred at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. There were no injuries. "Annie" has survived combat tours with U.S. Forces in Vietnam and Desert Storm.

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Photos provided by Celebrate Freedom Foundation.

CFF executive director Steve Seymour said the incident points out the dangers of drinking and driving. "I cried when I heard about it," Seymour, a two-time Purple Heart recipient, said. "Annie means so much to the students that she has inspired and the veterans that maintain her."

South Carolina's aviation-aerospace community responded rapidly to the tragedy, according to Seymour. He said CFF will press on with the recently-launched South Carolina Loves Freedom campaign to expand its programs.

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