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Spring-Summer DUSTOFFer Newsletter
spring-summer 2015 issue of our informative newsletter is now available for
reading online or as a download. Visit the
DUSTOFFer newsletter section of this
site for your copy.
Congressional Gold Medal
Brady is spearheading efforts to obtain the
Congressional Gold Medal for DUSTOFF Crews. He noticed in the last issue
off the VFW magazine that
not only individuals but units as well, mostly WWII, have been awarded
the Congressional Gold Medal. The article questioned why units from other
wars, Vietnam for example, had not been so honored. No units in any war are
more deserving than the DUSTOFF crews. The procedure for submission requires
an act of Congress. To that end, he has been successful in getting Senator
Cornyn’s office on board assisting in an effort to get the CGM for the
DUSTOFF crews. Senator Cornyn told MG Brady he would personally sponsor the
bill. Members of the DUSTOFF Association all should be aware of this effort
and when the time comes you may be helpful by soliciting your Members of
Congress to cosponsor the Bill. More to follow!
Vietnam DUSTOFF Association Reunion
Association's reunion is 23-28 Sep 15. Their guest speaker is
Meg Prior. Meg was embedded with American forces in Afghanistan over a four
year period filming a wide variety of units and capturing war from the
soldiers perspective. I have viewed her movie trailers and found them to be
She has also been given the opportunity through the Mike Novosel Foundation
to create a documentary film on Mike Novosel's life. Part of her visit with
us at the reunion is to capture 'what is was like to fly DUSTOFF in
Vietnam?' These insights will aide her in capturing the essence of the
DUSTOFF role and missions flown so that she can capture this perspective
when applying it to Mike's life in DUSTOFF.
If you have time to make the journey, we encourage you to make the journey
to San Diego, CA not only for this aspect of the reunion but also for the
other activities that they have planned.
Ben Knisely To Fly
Veterans Airlift Command Mission
On Wednesday 24 Jun 15, two veterans will participate in a
Command mission to get a sick veteran and his new service dog home.
Airlift Command is a national nonprofit that provides free air
transportation to post 9/11 combat wounded and their families for medical
and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer
aircraft owners and pilots.
Army Corporal Thomas Cannon, who was deployed to Iraq in 2011, was diagnosed
with stage 3 non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and pulmonary fibrosis. He was in
remission but now is in stage 4. He was accepted to receive a medical
service dog from Guardian Angels in Ocala, Fla., where the pair is currently
undergoing training together. But he needs to get home from Ocala to
Allentown, Pa. The VAC folks found him and his service dog a ride from
Macon, Ga. to Allentown, but they needed help in Florida.
COL Ben Knisely (Ret), who serves as the military-veterans liaison officer
for the Sarasota Sheriff's Department and also is a member of Goodwill
Manasota's Veterans Task Force, is a volunteer with the VAC. He was an Army
Medevac helicopter pilot who was shot down in Vietnam, survived four days on
the ground and was one of only two found alive through a special rescue
effort. He feels fortunate to be alive today and is happy to give back
through flying wounded/sick vets in his Cirrus 22 single engine plane. His
last mission was flying a young soldier who had lost a leg and was visiting
family on Longboat Key home to South Carolina.
Serving as co-pilot and mission assistant will be Goodwill Manasota's
director of veterans services, Staff Sergeant C.J. Bannister. She is a
veteran of the U.S. Air Force who now helps to provide services to returning
veterans, who face heightened risks of unemployment, personal problems, and
Bannister and Knisely will depart from Sarasota early Wednesday morning, 24
Jun, from Dolphin Aviation. COL Knisely expects them to be wheels up by
0730. They will arrive in Ocala at approximately 0830 to pick up CPL Cannon
and his service dog.
Hot damn!! The DUSTOFF Store is having an inventory reduction sale and
price reductions on select items. Now's your time to save big on a number of
items in the story. Go to the Store NOW and
check it out.
DUSTOFF Crew Chief of the Year
8th, Major Trent Short relinquished command of C/3-82 GSAB after a
successful combat tour in Afghanistan. Traveling to Fort Bragg to help honor
their service in combat and make a delayed presentation of the DUSTOFF Crew
Chief of the Year Award were COL (Retired) Bob Mitchell, former President of
the DUSTOFF Association, MAJ (Retired) Graham Bundy, former commander of
C/3-82, and Christine Hawk, representing Breeze Eastern the corporate
sponsor of the Crew Chief of the Year award.
Christine presented SGT Joshua Soter with the trophy honoring his selection
as the 2014 DUSTOFF Crew Chief of the Year. He and his fellow DUSTOFF
Warriors were downrange during the 2015 DUSTOFF Reunion and unable to be
present for the presentation at that time. Also honored during the brief
ceremony preceding the change of command were 1SG Poole and leader of the
Family Readiness Group, Christine Short, wife of Major Trent Short.
COL (R) Mitchell’s son, Zach is a Medical Service Corps aviator serving with
C/3-82. He was a freshman at Harker Heights High School when MAJ Bundy was
the Maintenance Officer in the 507th during Bob Mitchell’s command there at
Fort Hood. Zach deployed on his first combat tour with MAJ Bundy in 2011.
It’s a family thing this DUSTOFF Career!
Our thanks to Christine Hawk and the Breeze Eastern Corporation for their
continued support of the DUSTOFF Association and our Crew Chief of the Year
Inactivation of C 5-158 Avn Regt.
As part of the aviation restructuring initiative, 12th Combat Aviation
Brigade will begin deactivating its formations starting with 5th Battalion
158th Aviation Regiment. 5-158 is currently headquartered in Katterbach,
Germany. The deactivation ceremony will take place on 18 Jun 15 at 1000.
The MEDEVAC that is now C Co 5-158 traces its lineage back to the original
45th Medical Company.
Heroism and Valor
recent invitation to give thoughts and reflections of the Heroism and Valor
of those in Vietnam saving lives offered the opportunity it tell the stories
of DUSTOFF. The group, the District office of the Social Security
Administration, had an program for Memorial Day with about 200 in
attendance. As their keynote speaker, I had a short time to say a lot and
with a few "war stories" was able to get the perspective across of the slice
of war to save lives. It was also noted the high risk, the dangers unique to
DUSTOFF, and the ratios of casualties among DUSTOFF pilots.
Everyone in the combat theater has a unique role, but when boiled down of
how the soldier is coming off the battle field, they are either "walking"
off or carried out as WIA or KIA.
The program also had a POW/MIA ceremony, with the single place setting,
single candle, red rose, with china and silverware. Presenting the
explanation of all the symbolism was especially significant remembering my
close friendship with Jerry Roe.
J. Craig Honaman
DUSTOFF 70, 57th Med Det, 67 - 68
Hall Of Fame Submission Extension
Do We Have Your Current E-mail Address?
With the Army Knowledge Online move away from local e-mail servers to the new “mail.mil” e-mail, we are experiencing lost e-mail traffic with some of our members. If you have an e-mail address registered with the
DUSTOFF Association that is either a “us.army.mil” or “amedd.army.mil” domain – please take time to send us your new “mail.mil” domain
based e-mail address. [Read
Help Find Lost Association Members
We have an abnormally large number of Association members we can no
longer communicate with. When postcards are sent out, for instance to
announce voting for Hall Of Fame inductees, we've received cards as
"Undeliverable." Please take a moment to scan the
list of lost members and send us contact information if you find your
name or you know the where-about of someone on the list. [See
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