The original memorial honoring those killed in action during the Vietnam War was dedicated in 1973. A UH-1 (Huey) helicopter was dedicated as the memorial to the 214 crewmembers who were KIA during the Vietnam War. That memorial was dedicated and placed on the grounds of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School on Fort Sam Houston. Present that day and officiating at the ceremony were MG Spurgeon Neel and MG (then LTC) Patrick Brady.
After the formation of the DUSTOFF Association a set of large memorial board was built to honor those KIA during the Vietnam War and a second large memorial board was built to honor those KIA in the Post-Vietnam era. This second board has the names of those killed during peacetime missions, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and the post-9/11 Global War on Terror. Currently, the total number of names on the memorial boards is 262.
Currently, a new plan to honor our KIAs has resulted in a program to install four granite monuments to honor these heroes. These monuments are to be placed under the large pergola on the grounds of the Army Medical Department Museum. This pergola houses three legacy helicopters used in Army Aeromedical Evacuation units (DUSTOFF and Solo-Pilots from the Korean War). The location is highly visible to visitors to the Museum and open to the public once the Army Medical Department Museum finishes the access portal. This access portal allows the public to enter the Museum grounds without having to go through the security process for access to the rest of the Fort Sam Houston Installation.
The estimated costs of this project are $33,600 for the production of 4 granite monuments inscribed with the names of all 262 crewmembers who died in the conduct of an aeromedical evacuation of the sick, wounded, or injured, on an flight to move whole blood or medical supplies to aid in the treatment of the sick, wounded or injured, or on a flight to move medical personnel to support and treat the sick, wounded, or injured. Installation costs and final preparation of the site for the tablets is estimated to be another $20,000. The DUSTOFF Association is seeking to raise the $55,000 and to gain approval of the proffer to the government required for donations of this magnitude.
The image shown here is a conceptual rendition of the actual chosen site with four monuments installed – currently we are exploring not only the three required for all the names, and a fourth monument that would allow for some history, some inspirational message, or other images. Final layout is still in the planning stages.
Donations are well underway with nearly $22,000 in the bank and another $10,000 promised after the 1st of January 2022. We are within striking distance of honoring their sacrifices in a very prominent and meaningful way. Excess donations will be provided to the Army Medical Department Museum Foundation to assist with the fund drive to enlarge the museum and provide a public access portal located on Harry Wurzbach Road.
Donations made from IRAs and 401s as a result of mandatory withdrawals for our retirees over the age of 70 that go directly to 501c entities (Charitable organizations such as the DUSTOFF Association) can be made without those funds being taxed as income.
A donation form will be available soon on the DUSTOFF Association Website making it very easy to make donations using our PayPal application. Those making IRA/401 donations must have the funds mailed direct to the DUSTOFF Association to avoid the income tax being withheld.
Make checks payable to “The DUSTOFF Association, Inc.; Memorial Fund”, mailed to:
The DUSTOFF Association
c/o Dan Gower
116 Shady Circle
Sunrise Beach, TX 78643