May 22 2011
DRAFT MEETING MINUTES
16 APRIL 2011
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHAPTER
VIETNAM HELICOPTER PILOTS ASSOCIATION
President Walt Wise called the meeting to order at 1000 at American Legion Post #1, I-25 and Yale Avenue.
Members Present: Walt Wise, Phil Lanphier, Fred Lyssy, Jeff Roy, John Grauff, Greg Mann, Mike Silva, Hal Bergdahl, John Hargleroad, Bill Robie, Steve Swaim, Carl Cavalluzzi, Carl Tafoya, Greg McMahon, Rick Beaver, and Jim McNamee. Because we had several returning members, Walt had everyone introduce themselves.
The minutes of the March meeting were approved (Fred Lyssy moved, Greg Mann seconded). The Treasurer’s Report for April was approved (John Hargleroad moved, Jeff Roy seconded).
Channel 7 Interviews follow up (see the March minutes): Walt stated that the Channel 7 News story about Vietnam pilots who didn’t make it back from Vietnam will air on Memorial Day at 1800.
Rocky Mountain Region Reunion follow up (see the March minutes): Fred Lyssy and Greg Mann discussed the research they have done on possible venues for a reunion of Rocky Mountain era Vietnam pilots. They have been zeroing in on the Golden area and discussed the pricing for two hotels, which would be rather expensive for the time frame being considered (early fall). They concentrated on Golden because there are several things to do in that area. Jeff Roy mentioned that he recently coordinated a large event for the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), and was successful in arranging low rates and other amenities at the Doubletree Hotel in the Stapleton area. After discussion, the members decided to continue pursuing the possibility. Fred and Greg will research the Stapleton option and look into sending out a “save the date” postcard or e-mail to pilots on the list of Rocky Mountain area pilots that Mike Law provided after the March meeting.
Tribute to Vietnam Era Veterans at Prairie View High School on April 8th: Jim McNamee talked about the tribute to Vietnam Era Veterans that the faculty and students of Prairie View High School in Henderson gave on Friday, April 8, 2011. Several chapter members attended and displayed the Helicopter War Museum (HWM) for over 2,000 students and faculty during the day. In addition, chapter member Bill McPherson displayed his Huey. The ceremony itself was held in the school gymnasium and was attended by several hundred veterans and hundreds of spectators. It was a very impressive and moving event.
Upcoming Events: Jim discussed upcoming events and sent around duty rosters that Ed Fickes is maintaining. Enough members have now committed to working these events to enable us to commit to them. We can always use more volunteers, of course. Ed will send out the updated rosters and more details
May 2nd–WWII Honor Flight Welcome Home Reception: Ed mentioned that the chapter again will host a reception for WWII veterans returning from a visit to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. As usual, it will be at the DIA Signature Flight Facility from 2000 to 2100. The chapter will provide refreshments (Ed will procure them).
Draft Meeting Minutes, 16 April 2011, continued
June 9th-12th—Fort Carson Welcome Home Ceremony for Vietnam Veterans: Chapter member Charles Bogle has confirmed the dates for this event and invited us to display the HWM. He also has invited Bill McPherson to display his Huey next to the HWM. The AVTT Traveling Wall will be present. The Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration Commission probably also will participate in this event. We will set up the museum from 1400 to 1700 on June 9th, display it from 0800 to 1700 on the 10th through the 12th, and pack it up late on the 12th.
July 4th—Independence Day Celebration in Golden: Bill Robie discussed the possibility of displaying the HWM at this event, which is sponsored by the Lions Club. After discussion of transportation logistics and a straw vote of interest by the members, we decided to attend the event. We will reposition the HWM from Fort Carson to its Golden location, and leave it there until we transport it to Hays. Bill will arrange to have the HWM positioned in its July 4th location and then returned to its Golden storage location. Bill will get the final okay for our participation from the Lions Club and then work with them on logistics. Once we receive the okay, Ed will send out the details and a duty roster.
July 16th—Fly In at the Hays, Kansas Airport: We have been invited by the airport manager to display the HWM at this fly in. The organizers will pay the HWM transportation costs and also provide three motel rooms. We will set up the HWM from 1400 to 1700 on the 15th, display it from 0800 to 1700 on the 16th, and pack for the return trip the morning of the 17th.
Report on HWM Grant Request Efforts: As mentioned in the March minutes, the Vietnam War Commission is very interested in educational possibilities in conjunction with its 5-year long Commemoration, and there is a possibility that we could receive some grant money from them to improve the HWM. Phil Lanphier and Fred Lyssy have been revising our old grant documents and reported on their progress. They mentioned that there is a lot of competition for these type grants, but we should continue to pursue it. Jeff Roy confirmed that statement, and said that the MOPH has given out several grants to military museums in recent years. He said he couldn’t guarantee anything, but that we could also submit a request to the MOPH.
LZ Mary Ann Battle Commemoration: Mike Silva mentioned that he had attended a commemoration of the March 28, 1971, battle at LZ Mary Ann, where we suffered 30 KIA and 87 WIA in 45 minutes. He participated in that battle and its aftermath and gave his eyewitness account to us and recommended that we read Sappers in the Wire, a book about the battle. He also mentioned that he visited the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning and the National Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker. He said both were great and well worth visiting.
Soc Trang Tigers Reunion: Hal Bergdahl mentioned that the Soc Trang Tigers will be having a reunion at Fort Carson from June 16th to the 19th.
People House: Rick Beaver, who runs a People House program for veterans with traumatic brain injuries or psychological disorders, discussed how he works with veterans who are working to change their lives. He mentioned that People House is having a fund raiser yard sale on May 21st, and that they would appreciate any donations, especially small household items and clothing.
Draft Meeting Minutes, 16 April 2011, continued
Upcoming Elections: Jim talked about the June chapter officer elections. We will elect a President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer, all of whom will take office after the VHPA National Reunion. Current nominees are Phil Lanphier for President, Hal Bergdahl for Vice
President and Jim McNamee for Secretary/Treasurer. The election will not be held until the June meeting, so nominations are still open.
Clothing Order: Jim stated that River Graphics completed the clothing order, and he will pick it up in a few days. He will have the shirts and hats that members ordered at the upcoming meetings and events. He also will have some extra shirts and hats for sale to members at cost and to non-members at a mark-up.
Veterans’ Legislation, etc. Update: Jeff Roy talked about pending legislation that the MOPH is tracking and on which they are working:
Colorado veterans’ programs—The funding is going to expire in 2 years. The state and MOPH are looking for alternate funds.
Veterans’ homes—They are in good shape and improving.
Tricare—Congress is looking at cuts, which may include eliminating Tricare for Life or increasing premiums. Veterans’ organizations are fighting it, and there might not be any movement on it while there are wars and overall healthcare debates going on.
Medicare—There is a bill in Congress that would require Medicare to reimburse VA Hospitals for the care they provide to senior veterans.
Survivor Benefit Plan—The offset repeal, which affects surviving widows, may get passed this year. It has been in the works for 5 years.
The May 21st and June 18th meetings will be held at American Legion Post #1, I-25 and Yale. We will hold chapter elections at the June meeting. As usual, there will not be a meeting in July, but the new chapter officers will take over as soon as the VHPA Reunion ends on July 10th. John Hargleroad will reserve meeting rooms for the May and June meetings.
Walt adjourned the meeting at 1150.
Submitted by Jim McNamee, Secretary/Treasurer