President’s Letter – Spring/Summer 2024

LTC (Retired) Chris Wingate


The 2024 DUSTOFF Reunion in San Antonio, Texas, was a remarkable event, bringing together veterans, active-duty service members, and families connected by the valor and dedication inherent in the DUSTOFF community. This year’s reunion, filled with camaraderie and reflection, also set the stage for exciting developments in the year ahead.

As we honor the past and embrace the future, the DUSTOFF Association is thrilled to announce the rebranding of our annual gathering. The 2025 DUSTOFF Summit will take place in the prestigious Alexandrian Hotel and the National Army Museum at Fort Belvoir, Washington, D.C. This venue change reflects our commitment to enhancing the experience and engagement for all attendees, providing a fitting backdrop for the rich history and ongoing mission of DUSTOFF operations.

The DUSTOFF Summit 2025 promises to be a significant event, incorporating the Medical Evacuation Conference. This conference will highlight advancements in medical evacuation procedures and technologies, showcasing the critical role of DUSTOFF missions in saving lives under the most challenging conditions. The inclusion of the Medical Evacuation Conference is a testament to our dedication to innovation and excellence in the field.

We are excited to also announce the launch of our new website in the coming days. This revamped platform will offer an intuitive, user-friendly experience for our members, including the ability to register early for the Summit. Early bird registration will provide members with the opportunity to secure their attendance at a reduced rate, ensuring they do not miss out on the inaugural DUSTOFF Summit.

In addition, we are introducing new sponsorship levels for industry partners. These opportunities will allow businesses to demonstrate their support for the DUSTOFF mission and gain visibility in the community. Sponsors will play a pivotal role in our conferences, contributing to the success of our gatherings and the advancement of medical evacuation practices.

Lastly, the United States Senate The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed legislation on May 9th to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Vietnam DUSTOFF crews (CGM), recognizing their heroic and life-saving efforts during the Vietnam War. Spearheaded by Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, the bill highlights the critical role played by these crews in medical evacuation missions under extremely dangerous conditions. Key advocates included Major General (Ret.) Patrick Brady, a Medal of Honor recipient, members of the DUSTOFF Association and countless hours from Steve Vermillion, Chris Seidor, Gary Hagen, and Doug Peterson and many more from the Vietnam DUSTOFF Association since the 114th Congress. This session their efforts were supported by significant pro-bono efforts from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Although the bill has passed the Senate, it requires further support in the House, where it is 130 representatives short of the necessary 290 for a vote. One final push and lobbying effort will occur from on June 5 and 6 in Washington D.C. If interested in joining the growing team to have our voice heard in the House of Representatives, please reach out to me at the email below and I’ll pass on the information for this coordinated effort.

This acknowledgment by the Senate not only honors the valor of these crews but also underscores the enduring legacy of the DUSTOFF mission: “so that others may live.” We look forward to the continued support and enthusiasm of our members as we transition into this exciting new chapter and will keep you posted on efforts on the CGM in the US House of Representatives. The 2025 DUSTOFF Summit will not only reflect our storied past but also chart a path forward in the spirit of innovation and dedication that defines our community. See you in Washington, D.C.!

For more information and to stay updated on registration details and sponsorship opportunities, please visit dustoff.org or reach out to me at president@dustoff.org. Together, we fly, we save, and we serve. DUSTOFF.

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