To All Michigan Chapter Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association Members and Interested Parties,
The Log Jam staff performed their usual great service in arranging to seat, taking care of our beverage and meal orders, and assisting with equipment needs for the guest speaker.
After lunch, a business meeting was conducted.
Rich Deer advised that the chapter has vacancies for secretary and treasurer and is looking for volunteers or draftees to fill the spots.
A large part of the meeting was spent on discussing chapter activities for the year. Some activities had already been accomplished or were ongoing.
·Bob Rich had hosted a lunch gathering in Ann Arbor on January 10th with 6 members attending.
·Mark Benjamin continues to host monthly lunch gatherings in Traverse City with good attendance each time. His next gathering will be on Monday, May 14th instead of the usual 2nd Thursday. This is to accommodate a Marine pilot who flew CH-46s in Vietnam and happens to be a congressman. It was stressed there would be no politics, just war stories with another Vietnam helicopter pilot.
·Alan Saxton coordinated a visit to a meeting of the Michigan Helicopter Association at the Yankee Air Museum on February 15th. Dave James and Bill Andrew were among the 4 members who participated and gave some details. Glen Veno advised the MHA is inviting us to return to their meeting on July 19th at Grosse Ile.
·The dedication of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots and Crewmember Monument at Arlington National Cemetery was attended by at least three chapter members and two of their wives. Lee Luck, Gabe Hudson, and Bob Rich sent great photos of the event.
Upcoming events include;
·The Moving Wall in Kalkaska. Mark Benjamin is asking for assistance on May 20th for the event.
·Lest We Forget at the St. Joe River Basin June 22-24 is being coordinated by Vice President Dave James. This is at a different location from past years which were held in Benton Harbor.
·Ramp Night with the U.S. Coast Guard in Traverse City is being coordinated by Mark Benjamin on June 29th. Participants should contact Mark for specific details on required early arrival times.
·The VHPA Reunion in Atlanta July 3-7 shows four chapter members attending on the reunion’s Morning Report so far. Glen Veno is working with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation to provide UH-1 and AH-1 rides during part of the reunion.
·While not in Michigan, there is considerable interest among members in going to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin July 23-29. Dave James will organize ride sharing and housing for those interested.
·Also not in Michigan but a good opportunity is the 12th Annual Gathering of Veterans and Patriots at the American Huey Museum in Peru, Indiana August 11 & 12. John Akley provided a display with details of the organization. He and Glen Veno described some of the events that will take place.
·Mason Aviation Days on August 18th will be coordinated by Dave James. This event is very popular and draws a good crowd.
·Thunder Over Michigan on August 23-26 at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti is a huge event for the state and the great opportunity for our chapter. Sandy McLeod is coordinating the event and is asking for volunteers to help man our display there.
·Dawn Patrol at the Maple Grove Airport near Fowlerville will be in early September, believe Sunday, September 9th. This has become a traditional early fall activity for our chapter. Dave James will coordinate and it will include a lunch gathering afterward. That gathering has become our fall chapter meeting but with no business agenda expected.
Glen Veno presented information on a Brag Board he made. He suggested such displays are a good attraction at events we cover and can give a lot of information about our legacy.
Rich Deer advised that Bob Rich has supported the chapter in several ways including creation and enhancements of our chapter logo, creating and maintaining the chapter website and Facebook page, and making several wooden chapter logo items including the plaque permanently mounted at the Log Jam and an enlarged replica of a challenge coin. In Bob’s absence, Rich displayed a logo challenge coin that Bob had obtained for distribution to the chapter members. Each chapter member present was given one of the beautiful coins.
Treasurers Report was given by Rich Deer. The balance was $532.87. Eight members had paid their dues already. (Seven members paid dues during the meeting.) A separate accounting of the campaign to support the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots and Crewmember Monument was presented. The campaign was started at last year’s meeting on a suggestion and initial contribution by Gary Copp. $1,400 was collected and supplemented with $350 from the treasury for $1,750 total. A check in that amount was presented to the VHPA by Lee Luck at the 2017 VHPA Reunion.
A membership roster was made available showing 19 new members since the May 2017 chapter meeting. Many of the new members were recruited by Mark Benjamin during his Traverse City monthly lunch gatherings, while others were recruited at the 2017 VHPA reunion, by member referrals, during chapter activities such as Maple Grove, in response to an invitation included in the chapter submission to the VHPA Aviator, and the latest from contact with the local Quad-A chapter. Sadly, there was one loss from the passing of chapter member Rod Fleck. It was noted that several of the members are from out of state and include non-pilot RVN crew chiefs.
Displays brought in for the meeting included a UH-1 model contributed by Lee Luck made from rosewood and marked with the 48th AHC logo, early flight school era memorabilia shown by Bill Andrew, flight gear and the Brag Board provided by Glen Veno, a display board about the American Huey 369 organization set up by John Akley, and another banner who’s contributor and detail was not recorded by the chapter secretary – sorry.
After the group photo, Rod Offhaus gave a presentation about Lam Son 719 which covered great detail about the operation. Several of the chapter members present had participated in the operation and added many personal stories. Many thanks to Rod for the work he put into making the presentation.
Member and President