2010 Old Front Page News

(News Items You May Have Missed)

The Fall/Winter 2010 edition of the DUSTOFFer newsletter is now available for downloading (3Mb in Adobe Reader format) and reading.
Don't missed the tremendous articles, catch up on the latest about air ambulance units, and get all you need to know about the upcoming 2011 reunion in Panama City, Fl.

Click HERE for 2011 DUSTOFF Reunion and Event Information.


Former Medic (Now DUSTOFF Pilot) Provides
Flight Medic Award

CW2 (Formerly SFC) Christopher Miller and his wife, Tina, wanted to honor graduates of the flight medic course at Fort Rucker. They wanted something that the student would enjoy. They also wanted an award that was not one of the known graduation awards so that the winner would not know that they were getting the award until the day of graduation. The award is a print of "When I have your wounded" by Paul Fretts. The criteria is very simple; the recipient is chosen by the instructors of USASAM as the student who may not have the best scores; may not be the fastest or strongest; but the student that gives the most effort and by sheer will demonstrates that they are most deserving of being what a FLIGHT MEDIC should be. Here are some pictures of the last few awards. CW2 Miller will sign into Charlie 2-3 (Former 498th Med Co) in December 2010 as a Medical Evacuation Pilot. The Millers do this out of their own funds because they love DUSTOFF Warriors and the DUSTOFF Mission.

Class 10-01 was a Navy Corpsman

Class 10-02 was a SGT Devrow
Class 10-04 was a SPC Erin A. VanMaanen

Class 10-03 was a PFC Joshua Crabtree

Charlie Company, 3/25th Homecoming

COL (R) Dan Gower and wife, Suzie, traveled to Wheeler Air Field on the island of Oahu, Hawaii in September to welcome home Dan’s old unit, the 68th Med Det. That unit is now Charlie Company (AA) of the 3-25 Aviation Regiment. They just returned from block leave after a year in Iraq providing support to our Soldiers there. MAJ Jacob Dlugosz and his lovely wife, Cyndi, hosted the ceremony. Dan and Suzie got to shake a lot of hands and distribute DUSTOFF Association Coins. Suzie was particularly blessed as she got to hug 85 Soldiers welcoming them home. (Eat your heart out Karen Hill!) She also got to honor five members of the Family Readiness group for their outstanding support during the unit’s deployment. Following the ceremony Dan and Suzie had “chow” with the unit members at the Wheeler Dining Facility. Welcome home C-3-25 – Job well done! Hoooah!

MAJ Jacob Dlugosz, Cdr, C-3-25 and Dan at Wheeler Air Field, HI.

Dan coins CW4 Tom Oroho  

Dan welcomes CW3 Mike Hall with an Association Coin.  
Hall of Fame coin goes to outstanding Supply Sergeant SGT Maritza Gonzalez who made the deployment a success. 
Suzie welcomes home CW3 Jonglen Brown with a big DUSTOFF Hug and Dan coins CPT Brandt. 

Dan explains DUSTOFF Association's heritage and welcomes home Charlie 3-25 from Iraq. (Former 68th Med Det).  

Dan tells "story" about Suzie and her 42 years as a family support group for him!  
Suzie welcomes home DUSTOFF Warrior with a big DUSTOFF Hug. 

Suzie thanks Family Readiness Group member for support of the unit during their deployment.

 Suzie thanks Family Readiness Group member Pam Fuller for support of the unit during their deployment.

 Suzie thanks Family Readiness Group member M. Todd Williams for support of the unit during their deployment.

Suzie Gower presents Cyndi Dlugosz her Proud DUSTOFF Wife coin. 

USAAAD Say Farewell To Their Huey

On Wednesday 26 Jan 11, USAAAD YTC will say farewell to a legendary aircraft. The UH-1 Huey will take its last flight around the range in commemoration of the dedicated, trustworthy and dependable service this aircraft provided. We will miss our dear friend as we welcome a new era in the history of Yakima DUSTOFF. [Read More]

Charlie Company, 3/238th Homecoming

On Monday morning August 16, 2010 - COL (R) Dan Gower along with two of his retired Air Force Buddies, traveled to Fort Hood, TX to welcome home Charlie Company, 3/238th New Hampshire Army National Guard. They returned from their deployment to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. SGT Eric Bashor, a flight medic with the unit, had been in contact since early July. The unit was de-mobilizing through the Fort Hood SRP site (Soldier Readiness Process). Promptly at 0730 their buses rolled in and they lined up to began the day's tasks ensuring they could get on the plane and go home the next day. Dan and his buddies gave out coins, shook hands with all the DUSTOFF Warriors and welcomed them home. Another great day to be a Soldier!

Gower 1SGT Aldridge MAJ Mattimore

SGT Seward accepts coin.

CPT Carmell gets coined and welcome home.

Gower coins member of C-3-328.

Charlie Company, 5/158th GSAB Homecoming

On August 12, 2010 Dan Gower had the great privilege to travel to Katterbach, Germany to welcome home the DUSTOFF Warriors of Charlie Company, 5/158th GSAB commanded by Major Mike Hughes. Coins were given to all members of the Company and special Hall of Fame Coins given to three stellar performers. Proud DUSTOFF Wife coins were also presented to three of the family readiness group leaders for their work, during the deployment, supporting the Warriors. This unit had a rough deployment originally deploying to Iraq, but then being uprooted and re-missioned to Afghanistan shortly after arriving in Iraq. Fourteen members of this unit were the first non-German recipients of the German Gold Cross for gallantry.

Bavaria DUSTOFF Standing Tall - C Co - 5/158th GSAB - former 45th Med Co (AA)

MAJ Hughes & 1SGT Guzman - Command Team

La Familia - Leadership Team - SFC Negron, 1SG Guzman, SFC Ares

Dan thanks DUSTOFF Warriors of former 45th Med Co (AA)

Hall Of Fame coins presented to stellar performers - SGT Cain, CPT McGuire, CW3 Rodriguez

Dan coins Major Hughes

Dan coins guidon bearer, CPL Favors

Dan congratulates CPT Partyka, SFC Negron, SFC Hernandez and SFC Ares upon their Bronze Star award.

MAJ Hughes and 1SG Guzman uncase guidon.

LTC Howe congratulates CPL Favors, serving as guidon bearer.

DUSTOFF 83, recognized for valorous performance on 8 Mar 10 in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan. Air Medals w/V pending approval. CPT Connelly, CW3 Pratt, SSG Proctor and SGT Adams.

CPT Connelly receives Meritorious Service Medal for leading the Korean Village Remote site in Iraq and establishing Bala Morghab Remote site in Afghanistan.

SGT Owens receives Air Medal w/V for heroic efforts on DUSTOFF mission in Helmand Province.

Dan SGT Cain CPT McGuire CW3 Rodriquez Major Hughes

SGT Bolin receives Air Medal and ARCOM with Valor

German Gold Cross mission participants

DUSTOFF Warriors SGT King, SPC Weightman and SPC Seder (stud crew chiefs)

FRG Leaders honored for their service

Dan Gower, Mrs. Tammy Doerer (CAB Cdr's Wife), Mrs. Perkins and Mrs. Cackie Howe (BN Cdr's Wife)

New Wounded Warrior Project MasterCard from USAA

New account and transaction revenue associated with the co-branded credit card will assist WWP in developing and delivering unique programs and services to meet wounded warrior needs.WWP proudly announced the launch of the USAA Wounded Warrior Project World MasterCard, which honors wounded warriors by helping to fund WWP programs. The card also represents USAA's commitment to helping service members and their families build and maintain financial independence.

New account and transaction revenue associated with the co-branded credit card will assist WWP in developing and delivering unique programs and services to meet wounded warrior needs.

C-3-82 Return From Afghanistan

On the 7 and 8 July, the DUSTOFF Association paid a visit to Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (the former 54th Med Co). Dan Gower, Executive Director along with Christine Hawk from Breeze Eastern Corporation were finally able to present the DUSTOFF Aviator of the Year and DUSTOFF Crew Chief of the Year awards. MAJ Dirk LaFleur, the commander of C-3/82, was awarded the DUSTOFF Aviator of the Year award. SGT Patrick Janssen was awarded the DUSTOFF Crew Chief of the Year award. Their service and accomplishments in their most recent deployment to Afghanistan are truly remarkable and stand as testimony to their dedication to the mission. In the tradition of the DUSTOFF Association, all members of the unit were given a DUSTOFF Association Coin, a hearty handshake, and “Welcome home.” Many thanks to Christine Hawk who interrupted a family vacation to make the trip to Fort Bragg and make the award for SGT Janssen.

Dustoff Soldiers Awarded
Germany’s Gold Cross Medal

14 American soldiers made history, becoming the first foreigners to ever receive Germany’s Gold Cross medal, one of the nation’s highest awards for valor.

The U.S. MEDEVAC crewmen stationed in Ansbach, Germany 12th CAB 5-158th were honored for risking their lives to come to the rescue of German soldiers, who were ambushed by as many as 200 Taliban fighters during a patrol north of the city of Kunduz on April 2nd, 2010.

They will soon be honored by the U.S. with medals as well. The lead soldier who flew in over half of the missions on Good Friday was Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason LaCrosse, Instructor Pilot, with him CW2 Jason Brown Pilot in Command and the Dustoff Medevac crew.

The 14 Gold Cross recipients are: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steven Husted, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason LaCrosse, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nelson Visaya, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Brown, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sean Johnson, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Wells, Staff Sgt. Travis Brown, Sgt William Ebel, Sgt. Antonio Gattis, Sgt. Steven Schumaker, Spc. Matthew Baker, Spc. Todd Marchese, Spc. Gregory Martinez, Capt. Robert McDonough.

[Read More

[Video of the Taliban while Ambushing German ISAF Forces in Kunduz Good Friday, April 2, 2010. The video shows the Taliban firing at the German troops and relentlessly opening fire and hitting the Medevac plane (being flown by CW3 Jason LaCrosse and CW2 Jason Brown with crew).]

Gold Cross Recipients

Gold Cross Medal 

Gold Cross Recipients 

Hug Ceremony

Bild Newspaper Picture

Paul A. Bloomquist Honored

On Memorial Day, 31 May 2010 the DUSTOFF Association was honored to participate in a ceremony inducting LTC Paul A. Bloomquist into the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame at Hill AFB. LTC Bloomquist was the 24th person and the first Army aviator to earn this prestigious honor. LTC Bloomquist was well represented by his brother Mr. Wayne Bloomquist, his family, and a bevy of distinguished attendees. His induction was commemorated by Senator Bob Bennett and MG Brian Tarbet. Senator Bennett and MG Tarbet spoke eloquently about the service and sacrifice of LTC Bloomquist as well as his untimely death at the hands of terrorists. LTC Bloomquist’s heroic past was eulogized and served as the catalyst for honoring all of our fallen heroes and the superb history of Army MEDEVAC.

Neal Stanley Presents Memorial Day Talk

DUSTOFFer Neal Stanley spent six days in Washington DC over Memorial Day week and says it was a wonderful celebration of our country, our military, and those soldiers that gave their lives for our freedom. He was at the Wall 8-10 hours everyday and says it was great talking to all of the veterans and their families. On Monday morning he gave a presentation at the Vietnam Women's Memorial as one of eight speakers in the Storytelling program. Each speaker was allocated 30 minutes to give their talk.

[Read More]

A Viper’s Strike and A Dying Boy
Credit: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

An Afghan boy’s battle to stay alive after being bitten on the face by a viper involved United States Marines and second generation DUSTOFFer MAJ Jason S. Davis (son of John Davis), a pilot and the commanding officer of Company C, Sixth Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, which provides a detachment of Black Hawks to fly medical missions in central and southern Helmand Province.

[Read More]

Novosel Helicopter Dedication

Dedication of UH-1 in honor of Mike and Mike Jr. Novosel at Northwest Florida Regional Airport. The helicopter is a static display in front of the Northwest Florida Regional Airport terminal.

In the pic (left to right) is CPT Short (67J assigned to JRTC at Polk), MAJ Dan Moore (Cdr Polk Det), COL Bob Mitchell (immediate past president of DUSTOFF Association), and COL Tom Deal (MC branch, USSOCOM Surgeon).

Welcome Home C-1/168 GSAB

On 6 and 7 March, Dan Gower traveled to Sacramento California to welcome home the Charlie Company 1/168 GSAB (old 126the Med Co AA). He once again handed out coins to the DUSTOFF Warriors and thanked them on behalf of all of the DUSTOFF Association membership for their selfless service. The unit was the winner of the recent DUSTOFF Rescue of the Year award. This award, sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft, was presented at the 2010 Annual Reunion held in Panama City Florida. Major Dan Anderson, the outgoing company commander, changed command with the incoming company commander, CPT Adam Sabourin, on Sunday morning, 7 March 2010. Dan Gower was the keynote speaker for the ceremony. As in all of the visits to DUSTOFF Units, several coins were presented to the members of the family readiness group thanking them for their support of the troops during their recent deployment to Afghanistan. Welcome Home DUSTOFF Warriors!

Dan delivers keynote speech for change of command

Dan Coins MAJ Dan Anderson CDR C-1-168

Charlie 1-168 Company ready for change of command

Dan hands out coins

Dan Coins DUSTOFF Warrior CA NG

Dan Coins DUSTOFF Warrior

Dan coins C-1-168 DUSTOFF Warrior

Dan Gives Coin and Hug to DUSTOFF FRG Leader

126th FRG members honored for their service

Preparing the Grog Bowl
Ready Start Go - Tricycle Races raised money for the FRG.

Welcome Home Lone Star DUSTOFF
(Charlie Company, 2-4 GSAB)

CW2 Alex Boucher and Admin Guru, receive the Sikorsky Rescue Award.

CPT Chris Wingate, Executive Officer, and SSG Christina Martinez, Flight Medic, enjoying the festivities.

CW3 Caynan Picard and son receive DUSTOFF Coin from SGM Jeff Mankoff.

SSG Shane Pollock, Flight Medic, receives the Sikorsky Rescue Award from MG Brady.

CW3 Caynan Picard, TACOPS Officer and Pilot-in-Command, receives Sikorsky Rescue Award from MG Pat Brady.

Jessica Seefeldt, proud DUSTOFF spouse, receives DUSTOFF Spouse Coin from MG Brady for her contributions to the unit's FRG.

Jessica Boucher receives the DUSTOFF Spouse Coin from Major Mandril for her contributions to the Company's FRG.

Major Mandril and MG Brady present the Order of Saint Michael Award (Bronze) to CW4 Doug Jester, CW4 Mike Stollberg, CW4 Dennis Fletcher, and SFC Christopher Downey.
[Read the Award]

Shaney Mandril gets a hug from MG Pat Brady after receiving the Lady of Loretto Award and a DUSTOFF Spouse Coin.

DUSTOFF Huey Dedication

All are invited to the 5 May 10 dedication of a UH-1 "Dustoff" Huey in honor of local Army Aviator and Medal of Honor recipient, the late CW4 Michael J Novosel. The helicopter will be a static display in front of the Northwest Florida Regional Airport terminal. It is expected that Army Aviators will be recognized and a photo taken to commemorate the event. [Read More]

H-13 Pilots Honored 12 Apr 10 at Fort Sam Houston

The “solopilots,” as they were known, received a grand salute Monday at Fort Sam Houston as the post recognized the daredevil fliers who pioneered a new era. Before an uneasy armistice ended the conflict in 1953, pilots like Capozzi would fly 18,000 U.N. casualties to hospitals, helping save seven of every 10 victims. [Read More]

Annual Association Awards

MAJ Dirk Lafleur is our Aviator of the Year - from Charlie Company 3-82 GSAB

SSG Matthew Kinney is the DUSTOFF Medic of the Year

SGT Patrick Janssen is our Crew Chief
of the Year - also from Charlie
Company 3-82 GSAB

Members are part of the two-crew operation winning Rescue of the Year - Charlie 1-168 GSAB – California National Guard. PICs Thomas Lemmons, CW2 Brandon Lynch;
CPs – Todd Bonner, Tyler Smentek;
FM – Stephen Park, Rueben Higgins;
CE – Aaron DeCanio, William Dahl

67Js pose for a picture during the recent MNC-I Surgeon Medical Synchronization Conference, Victory Base Complex (AL FAW Palace)

Front: 1LT Tyler Eikenberry C/7-158, MAJ Matthew Cox CDR C/3-10, CPT Brent Hayward MND-B EVAC officer, MAJ William Clyde CDR C/2-227, MAJ Guy Gierhart C/2-227 BN XO, MAJ Buddy Meador CDR C/1-52
Back:  LTC(P) Scott Drennon TF MED DCCS, COL Bryant Harp 47th CSH CDR, COL Patrick Wilson - OTSG Health Care OPs, COL Jeffrey Foe MNC-I Deputy Surgeon, LTC Miles Armstrong MNC-I C3 Air Operations Officer, LTC Dan Barnes MND-B Division Surgeon Med Planner

Charles Kelly's Flight Jacket Donated

The flight jacket worn by Major Charles Kelly had long been a part of the 57th Medical Company’s orderly room. However, when the company folded its guidon and was transformed to a Charlie Company in a General Support Aviation Battalion, the link to the heritage appeared to be lost. However, it was in the trusted care of their battalion commander, LTC Scott Putzier. On the 24th of July 2009, the flight jacket, now housed in a new shadow box frame and protected by archival quality surroundings, was officially donated to the Army Medical Department Museum by the DUSTOFF Association on behalf of the Kelly Family.  It was donated at the Gala Event celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the AMEDD Museum. Dan Gower made the presentation mentioning how Charles Kelly’s last words had become the motto of the DUSTOFF Association and a call to duty for thousands of DUSTOFF Warriors since his sacrifice on the battlefield in Vietnam on 1 July 1964. MG (R) Pat Brady spoke next about the man Charles Kelly and all that he signifies and what a great patriot and leader he was. MG (R) Pat Sculley, Chairman of the AMEDD Museum Foundation, accepted the jacket into the official archives of the AMEDD Museum.

Pat Brady shares a bit of history and insight into the man that was Charles Kelly.

Dan Gower presents the Charles Kelly Flight Jacket to the AMEDD Museum on behalf of the Kelly family from the DUSTOFF Association. 

Many thanks to Deb and Bert for going "above and beyond" to get this frame job done on short notice in time for the presentation!

Helping Our Deployed Warriors

The holidays aren't the only time you may help our troops. Here are some suggestion.

  • Buy a prepaid phone card or a gift certificate for a soldier you know or for a soldier in need through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service; AAFES.com or 800-527-2345.
  • For a $25 donation, Operation USO Care Package will put together a package and send it to a loved one, or any service member, complete with a personal message from you; Operationusocarepackage.org or 800-876-7469.
  • Our military troops require and deserve continued support from those of us for whom they are fighting. Guaranteed to make any soldier ecstatic, a membership in the Military Care Package Monthly Club is the gift to give when you want to tell your family member or friend, that you care. BestGiftClubs.com

CNN Rides Along With DUSTOFF

Another good story / video on CNN about DUSTOFF crews; "Golden Hour" in Afghanistan. Has Dr. Sanjay Gupta doing a ride-along on a mission with the DUSTOFF crew. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2009/09/10/gupta.dust.off.cnn

Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project's Policy program creates and pursues legislative and policy changes that will benefit severely wounded service members and disabled veterans of the current military conflicts. WWP's legislative program strives to support injured service members by advocating for positive changes in benefits and veterans policy.

Video: About WWP
Click here to see a larger version of this video
Wounded warrior Backpacks contain essential care and comfort items including clothing, toiletries, calling card, CD player, and playing cards, all designed to make their hospital stay more comfortable.  They are provided to severely wounded service members arriving at military trauma centers.

A smaller version of the WWP Backpack, Transitional Care Packs are sent directly to Iraq and Afghanistan to provide immediate comfort during a warrior’s relocation to the U.S. military trauma center.

***Please consider sponsoring a backpack for a wounded soldier by clicking HERE.***

Veterans Eligible for Cell Phone Discounts

NAUS reported that military veterans and active-duty personnel are eligible for significant discounts on cell phone plans - if they know to ask.  Most veterans are unaware of the potential savings on their monthly cell phone bills.  Monthly military discounts range from 15 percent on Verizon Wireless plans to 10 percent off - and no activation fee - on T-Mobile agreements.  Alltel, Sprint and AT&T offer similar discounts.  While not everyone knows about the discounts, those who do say that getting the companies to register them for the cheaper plans is no easy task.  Most services require a military identification card, veteran identification card or military discharge papers as proof of veteran status.  Some companies require online registration to get the discount.  Many companies, including Verizon, also offer discounted plans for customers 65 and older.

Curious, I visited the Sprint site (my carrier) and searched "veteran discounts" and got nothing. When I called the toll free number the customer service rep (Wendy) didn't know anything, so I read her the above article. She dug through many computer screens and found the discount. Then I asked her why Sprint was only 10%; weren't they as good a company as T-Mobile? She agreed to up the discount to 15%. HUEY

Charlie 2-1 Welcome Home

Dan Gower got to travel back to Fort Riley - where it was a brisk 14 degrees outside on the day he welcomed home the 82nd Med Company (now Charlie Medical Company - 2-1 GSAB). MAJ Casey Carver, the unit commander, introduced Dan and then he had the honor of thanking four great ladies of the unit's Family Readiness Group. These ladies were the leaders who did the yeoman's work during the unit's deployment to Iraq. The unit flew over 5500 hours on over 2500 missions.
Dan introduces CW3 Christian Beck - DUSTOFF Aviator of the Year 2008

CPT Tim Wickersham gets coined and thanked

CW2 LJ Failes gets a DUSTOFF coin and a welcome home

CPT Adam Schaffer receives his DUSTOFF coin and a welcome home

SPC Abisai Garcia (L), SGT Jose Garcia (C), SPC Pete Gibson (R) get their coins and a welcome home

CW3 Chad Trenary receives a DUSTOFF coin

SPC Robert Dally receives a DUSTOFF coin

Dan honors FRG leaders (from right to left: Shelley Carver, Flavia Hulsey, Ashley Tillery, and Ila Bartoe)

A hug goes with every coin!

Dan honors Shelley Carver with Proud DUSTOFF Wife Coin

Welcome Home C 2-104 Tennessee NG DUSTOFF

On Sunday, January 11, 2009, Dan Gower traveled to Smyrna, TN, home of "Southern Comfort" - Det 1, Charlie Company (Medical) 2-104th GSAB. These great National Guardsmen recently completed a year-long deployment in support of the peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo. Great DUSTOFF Warriors! Even though American Airlines did its best to delay the flights, Dan made it there late but able to welcome them home, tell them they are appreciated, and give each member of the unit who deployed a DUSTOFF Association coin.

Southern Comfort DUSTOFF Warriors