Two-dimensional imaging of parallel ion velocities is compared to fluid modeling simulations to understand the role of ions in determining divertor conditions and benchmark the UEDGE fluid modeling code. Pure helium discharges are used so that spectroscopic He+ measurements represent the main-ion population at small electron temperatures. Electron temperatures and densities in the divertor match simulated values to within about 20%-30%, establishing the experiment/model match as being at least as good as those normally obtained in the more regularly simulated deuterium plasmas. He+ brightness (HeII) comparison indicates that the degree of detachment is captured well by UEDGE, principally due to the inclusion of E×B drifts. Tomographically inverted Coherence Imaging Spectroscopy measurements are used to determine the He+ parallel velocities which display excellent agreement between the model and the experiment near the divertor target where He+ is predicted to be the main-ion species and where electron-dominated physics dictates the parallel momentum balance. Upstream near the X-point where He+ is a minority species and ion-dominated physics plays a more important role, there is an underestimation of the flow velocity magnitude by a factor of 2-3. These results indicate that more effort is required to be able to correctly predict ion momentum in these challenging regimes.