2016 Old Front Page News

Conversation With A Soldier

Happy Veterans Day to all who have served and those who are still serving. Our country owes a debt of gratitude to the men and women who have courageously fought to defend our freedoms.

“Conversation With A Soldier” by David Wayne Mathias is a heartfelt tribute celebrating America’s Greatest Heroes. He was excited to finally release it just in time for Veterans Day.


DUSTOFF Awards Program

It’s that time of the year. Commanders please consider your DUSTOFF Warriors and nominate your “water walkers” for one of the DUSTOFF Association Awards. DUSTOFF Medic of the Year, DUSTOFF Crew Chief of the Year, DUSTOFF Aviator of the Year, or the DUSTOFF Rescue of the Year. Nominations are due NLT 31 December 2016 and will be awarded at the 2017 DUSTOFF Reunion in San Antonio, TX.

The letter shown HERE (Adobe Reader Format) explains the process, the criteria, and the format for submission. This program is to honor the heroics and hard work of our Active Duty DUSTOFF Warriors.

IF you are NOT a commander, please remind your commander of this opportunity!


CW3 Joval Eblen, a DUSTOFF Aviator with C/2-4 GSAB out of Fort Carson, has produced a stellar work of art. It's available in prints now. The image will be the same size as the original of 18" X 24" with a half inch border added for framing around the image. The contact information for ordering prints is Joval via e-mail at iiieblenjf@aol.com . Prints will cost $150 plus S&H

Project Rudolph Service

Project Rudolph ServiceFor any of you living in or around San Antonio we need your help. My husband (a flight medic) and I founded a charity in 2006 while stationed with 232 Med Co then it became C Co 1-214 Avn Regt. It's called Project Rudolph and we create Christmas bags and ship them to deployed, deploying and wounded servicemen and women stationed around the globe.


 This year, my husband, Joseph Campbell is on a remote tour to Korea and I am here in San Antonio. On Sat Dec 3, I am trying to put together a Project Rudolph Service Day so I can collect items for the bags, assemble some and hopefully get a bunch in the mail. I need people to come help, and the first place I thought to ask was within the DUSTOFF community. [Read More - click image on left]





SCNG Rescues Hikers

DUSTOFF crew rescues hiker.

U.S. Army CW4 Michael Hutto, CW5 Lester Furr, SSG Jessica Thibeau and SGT David Roupe, all South Carolina National Guard members, responded to a call for help to rescue an injured hiker from the Sumter National Forest along the Chattooga River near the South Carolina-Georgia border, 27 Aug. 16. The National Guard secures the homeland.

C/2-227th Returns To Hood

C/2-227th Return to Ft. Hood

Recently the C/2-227 out of Fort Hood was welcomed home from their 9 month deployment to EUCOM. This allowed time for the added benefit of congratulating and presenting the award for the 2015 DUSTOFF Flight Medic of the Year Award to SFC(P) Armando Ocon in person (presented by Art Torwirt and LTC(R) Jim Wingate of Air Methods Corporation). COL Baker, the 1ACB Commander, opened up the ceremony congratulating DUSTOFF and celebrating the accomplishments of this stellar NCO and all he did to earn this recognition. CW5 Knowlton, CCWO of 1ACB, LTC Paul Eberhardt, 2-227 Battalion Commander, and CSM Scott Nutter were also present for the presentation and celebration. COL(R) Gower welcomed home the team and also presented spouses coins to the difference makers from the C/2-227 FRG Spouses (Danielle Wingate, Catherine Gilley, Amy King, Laura Ferioli, Brandy Phillips, and Michal Hawkins) and DUSTOFF Hero Coins to the difference makers for the company, CPT West, CW4 Eric Huff, CW3 Burnham, SFC Totten, SGT Lawrence, & SGT Carney. The rest of the company also received a DUSTOFF Association Coin for all their hard work these past 9 months. Welcome Home, DUSTOFF!

DUSTOFF Association Scholarship Awarded

The Mike Novosel DUSTOFF Association Scholarship is being awarded to Matthew Campbell, son of COL John Campbell of Enterprise Alabama. He’ll be attending Auburn University. Other winners of AAAA Scholarships who used their membership in the DUSTOFF Association and AAAA to compete are Phoebe Smart, daughter of LTC Pete Smart and Jeremiah Cornell, son of LTC Jerry Cornell. Congratulations to our scholarship winners. [ Read more about scholarship. ]

2017 DUSTOFF Reunion Dates Set

Set aside the date. Put in for leave. Make plans now. The Dustoff Association 2017 reunion will be held in San Antonio, Texas at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk location on South St. Mary's Street.

The dates are 30-31 March and 1 April. Checkout on Sunday 2 April after memorial service. Hotel accommodations may be made by visiting this reservation site. You can then select the dates, and select the rooms and the corporate rate is applied (Code is WEG) and the rate is $121.00, which is our contracted rate.

National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation Fundraiser

The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation is raising funds to make the National Medal of Honor Museum a reality.

The museum will be designed to appeal to the broadest possible audience, exciting and inspiring visitors of all ages, learning styles, objectives and physical abilities. It will help visitors make personal and emotional connections to recipients of the Medal of Honor and the events that prompted their sacrifices.

Exhibits, programs and activities will meet the highest standards for preservation, conservation and curatorial care of the artifacts and will be designed and developed with maintenance requirements in mind. They will take full advantage of scholarship, technology and learning techniques.

The DUSTOFF Association has three Medal of Honor recipients (Patrick Brady, Michael Novosel, and Louis Rocco) as members and so individuals wanting to make a tax-deductible donation to help fund a National Medal of Honor Museum may do so at the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation Web site.

Spring/Summer 2016 DUSTOFFer Published

The latest issue of our interesting Association newsletter has "hit the streets." As always, Jim Truscott and Suzie Gower have teamed up and prepared a super informative and professionally prepared newsletter.

The full-color issue may be seen by visiting the newsletter section of this site.

In this issue there are articles ranging from "Readiness Today", to "Carry On Medical Equipment" to the status of the Congressional Gold Medal Bill.

While you're on your way to this issue of the DUSTOFFer don't forget that you may catch up on past DUSTOFFers by visiting the buttons at the bottom of the newsletter introductory page.

WO1 John Chrin Remembrance

John ChrinBill Sypher is looking for anyone who remembers WO1 John Stephan Chrin. John was in 57th Med Det from 5 July 1971 to 13 October 1971. On 13 October 1971, DUDTOFF 71 was lost on a night-time combat evac mission in weather. On last contact with radar control facility, pilot stated that he was IMC. Radar contact was lost approximately seven miles from a 2,000 foot mountain. Aircraft impacted on the side of a mountain near Chau Lang, RVN. A fire was spotted by ground observers who were unable to reach the crash site until the following morning. Five bodies were recovered.

13 October 2016, marks the 45th anniversary of John’s sacrifice. John was a resident of nearby Lebanon PA, and is buried in Lebanon at Holy Cross Cemetery. We would like to have a remembrance for John. We are looking for anyone who served with John, and/or any photos in-country or during Flight School.

William Sypher
56 Lincoln School Road
Jonestown, PA 17038

DUSTOFF Hall of Fame Voting Open

DUSTOFF Association Hall of Fame wall.It's that time of year where members of the Association get to vote on the nominee(s) for possible induction into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame. The deadline for having your vote counted is 31 Oct 16.

PPlease vote yes or no for Cephus "Lee" Roupe, this year's nominee. We would like you to consider his narrative and the following criteria in making your decision:

  • An outstanding contribution to DUSTOFF Aviation over an extended period,

  • A doctrinal or technical contribution,

  • An innovation with an identifiable impact on DUSTOFF Aviation,

  • Efforts that were an inspiration to others, or

  • Any combination of the foregoing.

Flood Relief In Louisiana

As you may have heard, Louisiana has been the victim of a catastrophic flood that has devastated much of the State. According to the Red Cross, it is "the worst natural disaster to strike the United states since Hurricane Sandy four years ago." Thousands of residents have lost everything. At least five of our Patriot Members have lost almost everything and need our help. Just as we move quickly to assist those in need in our local communities, so too should we assist our fellow Patriots in this time of need. At this point, all emergency supplies and necessities are being taken care of by Red Cross and other donations of goods. Tons of water, cleaning supplies and used clothing have already been donated. However, they will need assistance with other necessities of resuming normal life. Unfortunately, almost none of those affected were covered by flood insurance because this area was designated as a sheltering area when Katrina hit. Most areas were north of I-10 and I-12, which in Louisiana is basically the designated line by FEMA and insurance companies as the safe line, and flood insurance is not required.

With assistance and guidance from the MOPH National HQ, The Department of Louisiana has set up a special account and Committee to receive donations, evaluate needs, and distribute assistance to those who need it most. The Department will verify the need prior to sending any monies out, and no administrative costs will be taken out of any donated funds. The total (100%) of donations will go to Patriots in need. The Department will keep a strict accounting of who makes donations and checks will be written to Patriots and LAMOPH members on an equitable basis. The entire process will be monitored by the MOPH Leadership, the MOPH National Judge Advocate, and the MOPH Finance Officer who is tasked to ensure strict accountability.

Anyone who would like to make a donation should make their check payable to "Department of Louisiana, MOPH." Checks should be mailed to Department of Louisiana MOPH, Alton Rock, 217 Leeds St., Slidell, LA 70461. Each entity making a monetary contribution will get an accounting of how and where the money was spent. Please help our brothers and sisters in need!

Dust Off Crews of Vietnam War
Congressional Gold Medal Act

As you may have read on this site earlier, we have a bill in both Houses of Congress – S:2268 and H.R. 5299 to award the Congressional Gold Medal as recognition for the lifesaving efforts of DUSTOFF crews from Vietnam. This effort has the support of every major veteran’s organization in America. 

We need your support to urge your government representatives to support this legislation. Encourage them to join the veterans of America and cosponsor a Congressional Gold Medal for these singularly most remarkable, selfless and courageous unrecognized Veterans.

Below is a letter format for you to use in Word and Adobe Reader (PDF) format. Find your Representative or Senator, add their name to the beginning of the letter, sign it (type your name), and e-mail it to each.

Sample letter in Word format and in Adobe Reader (PDF) format.

Black Hawk Crash Reunion

Christopher Tinter is putting together a reunion of his pilot, co-pilot, medic and himself. It has been 31 years since the crash on 26 Feb 85 at Ft. Campbell KY. The crew haven't seen each other since being hospitalized following the crash. CPT Holly Ingram Monks, CW4 Clifford McGee, SGT Mark McCall, and SP4 Christopher Tinter, miraculously survived this terrible crash.

Black Hawk DUSTOFF Crash

The crew was part of the D Company 326th Medical Battalion. The Sikorsky UH60A Black Hawk helicopter had developed engine trouble during a routine training mission and crashed in TN. Within the last 6 months, Tinter was able to finally locate all the crewmembers and has made phone contact with them. They are excited about the reunion and have agreed on the location. The reunion will take place in San Diego CA on 17 Sep 16. Anyone else wanting to join them can reached Christopher Tinter at 850-728-2300.

F Company, 1-214th Aviation
Welcomed Home

Dan Gower, Executive Director of our Association, visited North Fort Hood on Monday 13 Jun 16 to welcome home CPT Tanya Tersillo and her platoon of DUSTOFF Warriors from Afghanistan. Members of F Company, 1-214th Aviation, these great DUSTOFFers saw some pretty remarkable action during their deployment and support of Special Operations Units. Welcome and Thank You for living the legacy.

F Company 1-214 Avn

The Fighting Season

The Fighting SeasonThe 2013 DUSTOFF Association MEDEVAC Rescue of the Year award mission was turned into a documentary. A few of the crew members filmed the mission with helmet cams. Earlier this year CPT Douglas Hill submitted them to Ricky Schroder Productions for consideration as his new documentary "The Fighting Season." They liked what they saw and 12 July the mission will be their second episode in the series. It will be available on DIRECTV Audience Channel Ch. 239 and AT&T U-verse Ch. 1114 starting at 8pm. The episodes may also be available on iTunes and Google Play.




 CPT William P. Brake
Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1992 Induction

For every new item of equipment that is proven on the field of battle, there are usually a few individuals who stand out as dedicated advocates - applying heroic energies and skills to promote its success. So it was with the helicopter as it made its debut on the battlefield of the Korean War. Aviators quickly proved the worth of the Bell H-13 as a key lifesaving factor in battlefield casualty evacuation.

But it remained for CPT William P. Brake to prove the true workhorse dimensions of one aviator and one helicopter. Brakes incredible record of 900 casualty evacuations in the span of 14 months in Korea has remained unchallenged. He was on combat assignment with the 49th Medical Helicopter Ambulance Detachment from March 1952 to May 1953.

A man of uncommon skill and enormous energies, he flew missions along the entire chain of casualty evacuation. Alternately, he could be seen lifting patients from field hospitals to evacuation hospitals for shipment to Japan or the United States. In his 14 months of service in Korea, Brake flew 567 missions of which 311 were combat missions, lifting 415 casualties from the front lines to field hospitals. He lifted an additional 485 patients from the field hospitals to facilities for evacuation
out of Korea.

Before leaving the Army, Brake was also an instructor pilot and member of the U.S. Army's helicopter demonstration team. His pioneering spirit, dedication and energetic efforts to prove the productivity and worth of the helicopter in medical evacuation roles profoundly influenced the post-war vision of the role of the helicopter in the Army of the future.

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 More]

Are You On the Roll of Honor?

National Purple Heart Hall of HonorThe National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, located in New Windsor, NY is the only facility in the nation dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the stories of our nation's service men and women who have been killed or wounded by enemy action while serving in the United States military.

They rely on family, friends, and Purple Heart recipients to share their stories with us. They need your help to build the Roll of Honor database containing these stories.

To learn more about the Hall of Honor, sharing your story and FREE enrollment, please visit their Web site or call the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor at 845-561-1765.

Wyoming Army NG Receives Additions

Wyoming Army aviation, which is highly used across the state, nation and abroad, is growing. The Wyoming Army National Guard is standing up a second helicopter unit.

A command aviation company will reside alongside the C Company, 5th Battalion 159th Aviation Regiment medical evacuation unit at the Army Aviation Support Facility and will execute missions that were previously impossible due to legal or operational limitations.

“Wyoming has always been a medevac-only unit and there are restrictions on medevac aircraft imposed by the Army, so (there have been) many missions we have been unable to do or must ask special permission to do,” Roth said. “Since we are picking up a CAC unit, none of those intricacies will apply which will better enable us to support domestic operations missions.”

Charlie Med also known as Cowboy Dustoff, is the most deployed unit in the Wyoming Army National Guard. Its missions include aeromedical evacuation, movement of patients, medical personnel, equipment and supplies to include blood products, combat search and rescue, and air crash rescue support.

When in Wyoming Charlie Med’s missions include assisting with Domestic Support to Civil Authorities taskers. Those missions may be firefighting or, like one of its more recent tasks, search and rescue of lost snowmobilers.

DUSTOFF Huey Hoisted Above Veterans Memorial Park In Las Cruces, NM

A Vietnam War-era Huey Helicopter is installed at the new Vietnam War Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park on 1 March 016. The New Mexico Vietnam Veterans War Memorial Project in Las Cruces, NM, is a memorial paying tribute the 398 New Mexico Vietnam veterans killed in action (1955-1975).

The memorial, titled “Heroes Never Thanked,” also honors all Vietnam veterans who served in Southeast Asia and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives during the Vietnam War.  Each KIA Vietnam Veteran from New Mexico have their photo metal engraved and set in a semi-circular stone wall as part of the memorial.



[Watch the Hoisting]



Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

March 30 is a very special day for a generation of veterans who had served in their Nation's Armed Forces with honor, valor and a patriotic commitment to defend the values and freedoms that make this country so unique. They were the veterans of the Vietnam War who, rather than receiving a hero's welcome home, became the scapegoats of a divisive crossfire of negative public sentiment and disapproval of the U.S. Government's involvement in an unpopular war. In many cases their sacrifice went unappreciated, dismissed or was even insulted. Over the almost 15-year course of the War, more than 3,400,000 Americans served in support of U.S military operations in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, while more than 58,000 members of the Armed Forces gave their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded.

It was not until 2011 that Vietnam Veterans would finally be granted the recognition and reward they had earned. That year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating March 30th of each year as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day," almost 38 years to the day of the final withdrawal of U.S. combat and combat-support troops from Vietnam. Though long overdue, all Americans should pause today to recognize and thank Vietnam veterans -- America praises their sense of duty, unselfish devotion and courageous willingness to put their country first.

Paul Bloomquist Inducted Into
Utah Aviation Hall of Fame

Paul Bloomquist, a member of the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame who was inducted in 2003 and a member of the Army Aviation Hall of Fame has received another honor by being inducted into the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame. [See video]

LTC Bloomquist was killed May 1972 in Frankfurt, Germany from a bomb placed by the terrorist group Baader-Meinhof gang.


DMZ Dustoff 2016 Reunion

2016 reunion is Apr 4 thru Apr 7, 2016 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas.

Medic Geoffrey Morris has done a great job of finding us the best deal for our get-together. $52.00 a night (plus taxes) is almost unheard of. For those that attended in 2006 and 2008, it's the same Hotel. A couple blocks from the Strip, these folks have given us a super deal.

Call into The Orleans Hotel Reservations at 800-675-3267 or go on-line to www.OrleansCasino.com/groups and use group code: A6DMC06
To avoid long hold times they encourage making your reservations on-line.

Reservations must be made on or before Saturday, March 5, 2016 to ensure availability and group rate.

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.

Quad-A Soldier Appreciation Dinner Concert

Planning on joining us at the 2016 DUSTOFF Association reunion? Since the reunion is where the AAAA annual meeting is being held, you may want to take in the Soldier Appreciation Dinner Concert Saturday night. Chow down, renew old friendships, and hear some great music from the stars of the industry.


Reunion Hotel Rooms Sold Out

Unfortunately, rooms at the Embassy Suites are sold out in our DUSTOFF Room Block. There are no other rooms available at that hotel and, therefore, all further room reservations will be booked at the Holiday Inn Centennial Park. The Holiday Inn Centennial Park is within easy walking distance of the Embassy Suites. We are attempting to get 30 rooms, however, only 25 rooms are guaranteed. Once again - IF YOU SNOOZE - YOU LOOSE.

2016 Reunion Golf Course

Golfers get ready. Ron Wilson has secured a great deal on our next Golf Tournament to be held during the 2016 DUSTOFF Reunion. The Cherokee Run Golf Club will be the venue. Take the virtual tour and get ready for a great day of golf with your fellow DUSTOFFers.

Registration and restaurant open at 0800. Shotgun start begins at 0900.




2016 DUSTOFF Reunion Info.


Room reservations now open - IF YOU SNOOZE - YOU LOSE! Room reservations are NOW open at the Downtown Embassy Suites in HOTLanta for the 2016 DUSTOFF Reunion. As we did last year, we are a sub-group to the Army Aviation Association Summit. [Read More]

DUSTOFF Announcement of Awards

April 27-30th is the 37th Annual DUSTOFF Reunion in Atlanta GA. We are co-located with the Army Aviation Association of America Summit again. During this time we will honor several of our finest DUSTOFF Warriors. It's our honor to announce the recipients of the following awards:

  • DUSTOFF Medic of the Year - SFC Armando Ocon from C/2-227 GSAB, Fort Hood, TX.
  • DUSTOFF Crew Chief of the Year - SSG Zachary Rice, C/6-101 Avn Regiment "Shadow DUSTOFF" - Fort Campbell KY
  • DUSTOFF Aviator of the Year - CW4 Michelle Sheffield, U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detachment, Fort Polk, LA
  • DUSTOFF Rescue of the Year - the crew from 4th FSMT, C/6-101 Avn Regiment "Shadow DUSTOFF" - CW2 Thomas, 1Lt Weber, SPC Serey and SGT Dioum.
  • And, being inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame will be 1SG Peter Rohrs, First Sergeant of C/2-4 GSAB from Fort Carson, CO.

Congratulations to all these great DUSTOFF Warriors AND all of the others who were nominated by their commanders.

S. Korea’s Medevac Chopper Makes
Successful Maiden Flight

sggA medical transport variant of the South Korean KAI KUH-1 Surion, the first-ever indigenous twin-engine light utility helicopter in South Korea, has successfully completed its first official test flight.

The medical transport edition was used in airlifting two South Korean soldiers who were seriously injured in an apparent landmine explosion while on routine patrol duty in the demilitarized zone.

Since the development of the medical transport variant of the Surion kicked off in 2014, the medical chopper’s new medical equipment and operability have been rigorously tested under various conditions including cold weather operations. The medical helicopter is scheduled to be deployed as the military's medical transport vehicle starting from 2018.

Capable of evacuating up to 6 people simultaneously, the Surion medical chopper is equipped with weather radar and an anti-collision warning system.

The Surion medical chopper is outfitted with cutting-edge emergency medical equipment and supplies, such as an automatically height-adjusting stretcher pedestal, an oxygen supply device, medical suction units, a patient monitoring system, cardioverter defibrillators and respirators.

50 Years Ago

Vincent J. CedolaCPT Vincent J. Cedola, DUSTOFF pilot attached to the 82nd Med. Det. was presented with Honorary Vietnamese Air Force Pilot Wings, with a citation signed by Premier Nguyen Cao Ky. In Jun 65, CPT Cedola and his crew extracted the crew of a downed VNAF C-47 flareship, at night, and under intense Viet Cong ground fire.




2015 AAAA Army Aviation
Air/Sea Rescue Award

The crew members of DUSTOFF 1 from the U.S. Army Air Ambulance Det., Yakima Training Center, 2nd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, distinguished themselves by exceptionally valorous actions during the rescue of an injured hiker on 20 Jun 15. A climber on Mt. Adams, WA, who had sustained a broken arm and multiple leg injuries at an altitude approximately 8,000 above mean seal level could only be reached using a rescue hoist. SGT Jackson acted as the hoist operator and tactically hoisted SSG Pettus down into the narrow rock formation. The crew repositioned to a safe LZ in order to conserve fuel while Pettus set up for a tandem joist extraction. After approximately 30 minutes, the crew made a low and deliberate approach back into the pickup zone, terminating at a steady 25 foot hover above the highest point of the loose rock formation and subsequently hoisted Pettus and patient up to the aircraft. The outstanding mission accomplishment and teamwork of DUSTOFF 1's crew identified them as truly deserving of the award.

C-6-101 GSAB Welcomed Home

Dan and Suzie Gower traveled to Fort Campbell on 14 Jan 16 to welcome home C-6-101 GSAB from Combat Operations in Afghanistan. Also honored during that time was the 2015 Aviator of the Year, CPT Matthew Perry. CPT Perry deployed to Afghanistan just prior to the Reunion last year and was not able to receive his award. The trophy is sponsored by AirBus and our corporate sponsor is Joseph Mudd.

MAJ Travis Owen and Dan Gower

CPT Matt Perry Aviator of the Year

Receiving plaques honoring them as "Angels of the Battlefield were SGT Robert "DOC" Deleon and SGT Cody "DOC" Ford.

SGT Deleon and SGT Ford receive plaques

CW3 Steinman and SSG Rice - Difference makers honored

Also honored at this ceremony were two "difference makers". These are DUSTOFF Warriors chosen the commander to receive DUSTOFF Hall of Fame Coins. Honored this year were CW3 Alan Steinman and SSG Zachary Rice.

Members of the FRG were also honored with Proud DUSTOFF Wives Coins presented by Dan and Suzie. Present to receive their coins were Krystal Owen, Misty Danos, Chrisha Baskerville. Not present but receiving coins were Katie Appelhanz, Micah Howell.

FRG Leaders Honored by DUSTOFF

At the conclusion of the short ceremony, Dan and Suzie presented each member of the unit with a hand shake and a hug (from Suzie) and a DUSTOFF Association Coin. Also present to welcome them home were CSM (R) David Litteral (Member at Large for DUSTOFF) and CW2 Retired Joe Bradley and his wife Gail. Both Dave and Joe served at Fort Hood during Dan's time there with the 3/507th Medical Company (AA).

Another great day to be with DUSTOFF Warriors.

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision that Unauthorized Wear of Military Decorations is a Right of "Free Speech

On 11 Jan 16, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling on a 2007 conviction of Idaho resident Elven Joe Shisher for violating the Stolen Valor Act, overturned the conviction, saying it was a form of free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. In taking this action, the Court upholds the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2012 which struck down the Stolen Valor Act for the same reason.

With regard to the Court decision, it is disappointing that once again the courts have determined that the wearing of unauthorized military decorations is an expression of "free speech," as protected by the U.S. Constitution. For most veterans, and especially those of us who received the Purple Heart medal for wounds sustained on the battlefield or as the result of acts of terrorism, the Purple Heart is a badge of honor. It is the symbol that the recipient was willing to sacrifice his or her very life in defense of the United States of America and the freedoms all Americans are able to enjoy. When someone who is not entitled to any military decoration wears that medal, they not only denigrate its significance, but they dishonor those brave and heroic American military members who served to defend that same Constitution.

Hank (Okie) Tuell Inducted Into Hall of Fame

One of our members has added another honor to his name. In addition to being inducted into the DUSTOFF Association Hall of Fame in 2011, the notorious quid chewing Oklahoman, who flew as Medevac 1 in the 1970 timeframe, was inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame in November 2015.

Okie now resides in Red Lodge, MT and has been doing great and wonderful things for our wounded warriors through Operation Second Chance.

If we don't watch out for him, and keep his escapades in Vietnam on the hush-hush, the Queen of England will hear about his adventures in III Corps and dub him Sir Okie of Red Lodge!

U.S. Army Helicopter Names in Vietnam

John Brennan, former SP5, 114 AHC, 1970-71, Vinh Long AAF, Mekong Delta, is asking for help from anyone with photographs of Army helicopters. He's looking for candidates for his next in-country Army helicopter photo book planned for 2017.

He's trying to identify and inform anyone that has Army helicopter pictures and any anecdotal information that can be obtained about these Medevac photos (date, place, crew, etc). He'd like to feature as many DUSTOFF photos he can assemble over the next 12 months for his new book. So far DUSTOFF has been vastly under-represented in his publications due to a shortage of decent looking images from prints or slides. His first book was U.S. Army Helicopter Names in Vietnam.

He's looking to gather 300 images for the next helicopter photo book. So far he's nearly half way to that goal. If you can help contact John at johnmailman@yahoo.com .

15th Med Bn 2016 Reunion Information

The 15th Medical Battalion Association’s 18th annual reunion will be held in Olympia, Washington April 11-16, 2016 at the Red Lion Hotel.

15th Medical Battalion unit crests and patches.

The theme of this year’s reunion is “Western” beings the Pacific Northwest has lots of ranches and farms. As such, there will be awards for the best dressed in Western garb at the BBQ banquet featuring the “Oly Mountain Boys” Nationally awarded blue grass band. So, cowboys and cowgirls boots are in order along with a ten-gallon hat.

There are several tours on the agenda as well as great dinning places. Tours include Museum of Flight at Boeing Field, LeMays Auto Collection (over 2,500 vintage vehicles), NW Helicopters, and Olympic Flight Museum. This will be a very memorable reunion.

Saturday will feature meetings, group pictures, opening ceremonies, awards, presentations, and an exciting auction. Cabela’s is booked at 6:00 pm for an evening of eating game meat (if desired) and shopping.

[Read More]

Dust Off Crews of Vietnam War
Congressional Gold Medal Act

Congressional Gold Medal

Right, Senator John Cornyn hosted a press conference at the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum on Veterans Day to highlight his recently filed legislation, The Dust Off Crews of Vietnam War Congressional Gold Medal Act. Left, Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, a Dust-off veteran, described the contributions of Dust Off crews during the Vietnam War.

The members of Army Dust Off units in Vietnam were some of the most heroic and talented service members in the history of American aviation warfare. “Dust Off” was the tactical call-sign for helicopter ambulances operated by crews who performed aeromedical evacuation for United States, Vietnamese, and allied forces that were wounded on the perilous battlefields of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War imposed an extraordinary cost of life and limb suffered by so many of our service members who fought there. Dust Off’s mission in Vietnam was to expedite the relief and remedy of pain and injury by transporting the wounded to a waiting US medical facility as fast as human and machine would allow. These intrepid American warriors boldly executed this humanitarian mission by rescuing nearly 900,000 souls in the process. At great risk to their own safety, they often innovated new procedures and techniques that allowed our wounded on the battlefield to be rescued in the face of insurmountable odds and unrelenting conditions. These crews were an inspiration to so many and attracted praise from some of the highest leaders in the U.S. military for their common displays of courage and bravery while under fire.”