President's Message

Hello to all DUSTOFFers and family members. As I sit here writing this letter, the TV is giving me the latest on the War with Iraq. There is no more pressing matter than for all of us, as former and present DUSTOFFers, to pause periodically and remember those who are carrying on the traditions. Let’s not forget that those in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan are not the only ones deployed in harm’s way. We have many crews on call and pulling duty daily in many foreign lands and within CONUS. Our thoughts and prayers should be with them daily, along with those brave men and women who are prosecuting this war.

The 2003 DUSTOFF Reunion was a huge success. Our thanks to a few key folks who, as always, pull the load: Ken Crook, Dan Gower, Scott Putzier, Karen Hill, Jeff Mankoff and Greg Griffin; and, of course, the Executive Committee for all the planning and bringing back the hospitality suites. I look forward to working with the new members of the DUSTOFF leadership team: Ernie Sylvester (VP), Rob Howe (Sec) and Garry Atkins (Member at Large).

Though the official golf tourney got rained, out a few diehard duffers hit the links for a few holes of soggy golf. The Friday night buffet and the Saturday dinner were well received, if you judge it by all the food that was consumed. A special thanks goes to Bob Baird of “In the Shadow of the Blade” for his keynote presentation during the dinner.

The highlight of this year’s Reunion was the presentation of the H-13 to the AMEDD Museum, the dedication of the Memorial Pavers and the induction of the 2003 Hall of Fame members. Congratulations to Jerome Foust, Ernie Sylvester and Paul Bloomquist for years of patriotic service and dedication to the traditions of DUSTOFF.

In closing, I would like to extend my personal thanks to Ken Crook for his exceptional leadership as the past president. Also, we all owe Dan Gower a great WHOOOAH for his unselfish and tireless service to the association and “making things happen.”

I look forward to this year and the many challenges of the nation and our association. Again, keep all our deployed forces in your thoughts and prayers.


Art Hapner