GREETINGS FELLOW BLUE STARS,
I know, I know!!!!! This Newsletter is getting later and later every year. While I have no real excuse except to say that I’m running out of hours in a day, some of the information I’ve been trying to pry out of the powers that-be, particularly for info on the TOC has not been forthcoming in an expeditious manner. My apologies but I hope that anyone waiting for information on our upcoming reunion will take this info, kick it into gear and make your plans to attend.
in for another great gathering of Blue Stars in
now that I hopefully have your attention, what’s the deal on the this year’s
reunion you may ask? Well here’s the
skinny. The site of this year’s gathering
is the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort
& Spa located in
As in the past, we have used the annual reunion of the VHPA to facilitate the Blue Star reunion. This has provided us with several advantages. The least of which being that with such a large number of reunion attendees, we benefit from some great negotiated hotel prices as you can see. The VHPA also provides us with our reunion facility and amenities at no cost to us. But I think the greatest benefit is the electric atmosphere it generates. We have the opportunity to gather with warriors who shared the same experiences as we did, and believe me, it does generate an atmosphere that you must experience to appreciate. As many of us know, the VHPA stands for the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. Membership in the VHPA is limited to those who served in RVN as a helicopter pilot. Over the years, I have seen the participation of more and more crew members in the various reunion activities. The Blue Stars have historically enjoyed one of the largest unit gatherings of the VHPA reunion, pilots and crew members. So many units expressed wonderment at the numbers who attend our reunion that they are imitating us in their efforts. I guess the greatest source of flattery is imitation. Without your support and attendance, we wouldn’t be were we are today. This gathering is for everyone, VHPA aside. As far as we’re concerned, there is no distinction between a pilot and a crew member. We are all Blue Stars and that’s what it’s about, the Blue Stars - PERIOD!
The Main Event – The Blue Star
The Blue Star reunion this year takes place on the July 6th beginning at 1300. Once again, the VHPA has provided us with a large meeting facility to accommodate the anticipated masses. Here’s the skinny:
WHEN: Friday, July 6th from 1300 to 1700
As always, it doesn’t cost a cent to attend our reunion. Our reunion is independent of the VHPA activities. As I’ve said, they provide us with the reunion facilities at no cost. We will also have a slide projector & screen available along with a TV/VCR combo. If you have slides, movies, VHS tapes you’d like to share, please bring them.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Over the past few years, many
of us have either visited
The 2nd Main Event – The TOC and Sign-In
Once again we are planning to
have a TOC up and running for the duration of the reunion. One of the hold-ups I experienced in getting
this Newsletter together was getting information on the TOC’s. Basically, a hospitality type TOC set-up will
run 3x the rack rate, or about $345 + tax per night. Last year’s cost was $600 + tax per
night. The year before, it was $868 +
tax per night!!! Stoney has taken up the
task of making the arrangements for the TOC this year since he is planning to
arrive earlier than I am. The VHPA
reunion event runs from July 4th through July 7tt (the 7th
is banquet night).
Accordingly, our TOC will be open for the same period, with the
exception 1300 to 1700 on July 6th – during our mini reunion. While the TOC operating costs have decreased
this year, we still need to solicit your donations to continue to make it
happen. The general consensus has been
that it was beneficial to all to have a central gathering place during the
reunion activities for us to gather. We
fund the TOC and our reunion activities through the Blue Star Aviation
Association and last year, with the generous contributions received and the
proceeds from our raffle, we left DC with a TOC fund balance of approximately
$1,561. This is the first year we actually came out in the black. The last 2 years left us in the red. In the past, your contribution for the TOC
generally included beer, wine, etc. Last
year, we basically depended on voluntary beverage contributions for the TOC. It appeared to work out quite well. Since we did have so many generous
contributions last year, the Association was able purchase approximately $800 +
of food and beverages for the TOC.
Again, this year we are going to rely on the generosity of those attending
to bring a case or two of beer, some wine, soft drinks, etc. to donate to the
TOC. Additionally, we’ll put a
“donation” jar for drinks for say $1 a beer, to help ensure we don’t lose our
shirts and to build a war chest for future reunion activities. .We figured that
we would request a $40 (per Blue Star) contribution to cover the TOC costs and
any beverages you can help with.
Remember, any funds raised above our expenses will remain in our
Association Treasury and will be used in future reunion activities. If you cannot attend this year’s festivities
but wish make a contribution or if you are attending and would like to send
your contribution now, you can send your contribution to:
Please be sure to indicate on your check that it is for the “TOC contribution”.
There will be a Blue Star sign-in sheet posted in the VHPA registration area. Please take the time to sign-in so we have an idea who’s here, so you can see who is there. Even if you only plan to come for the Blue Star reunion, please let us know you’re here.
The location of the TOC will be posted in the VHPA registration area.
The VHPA has planned numerous reunion events. These events can be viewed on the VHPA website at www.vhpa.org and click on Reunion Information. In order to attend any of these events, you must register with the VHPA, pay the registration fee and pay for the event ticket. If you are not a VHPA member, you must be sponsored by a VHPA member to do this. We have many Blue Star’s who are willing to sponsor you if you need a sponsor. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to attend any other event and need a sponsor.
Another significant major event of our reunion is the banquet. This year the banquet will be held on July 7th. The banquet is the largest event of the VHPA reunion. You can typically expect over 2,000 attendees. The food is usually pretty good for banquet food and the entertainment is terrific. The VHPA has recognized that many folks would like to attend the banquet but didn’t feel that it should be necessary to register and pay the registration fee to do so. Once again this year you can purchase a ticket for the banquet without having to register or pay the registration fee. This year a banquet ticket for a non-registered guest is $95. You may be able to purchase a banquet ticket at the reunion but I strongly suggest that you purchase one now. Again, please contact me for further information.
The banquet seating last year was a fiasco! The VHPA once again found it necessary to preview new seating software and they experienced the same result as when they’ve tried other software programs in the past – it promptly crashed hours before the banquet and seating was a free-for-all. Hopefully they learned their lesson once again and will come up with a dependable solution. I understand that this year they are going to look at registrations by units and attempt to set aside a sufficient number of tables to accommodate any units that want to sit together. A good idea but we’ll see if it works. In any event, it will be necessary for you to visit the banquet seating table in the VHPA registration area to make a seat selection as soon as you get to the Marriott. Please let the folks at the banquet seating selection table know that you want to sit with the 48th (if you want to that is J).
Our website is up and running and continues to grow. Many thanks to Logan Weiler for all of the hard work he’s put in to getting it up and the constant updates and to everyone who has contributed a story, data or pictures for posting. Visit us at www.48ahc.org. Your Association dues pay for our website.
Our website also has a link to subscribe to our Reflector List. You have several options for receiving email when you join the list. I know the volume of email can be overwhelming, but you can control the volume by receiving email as Daily Digest (1 email daily or 1 for every 25 individual emails posted).
Once again we will have a raffle this year to help raise funds for the Association. The raffle will be held during the mini reunion. Unfortunately, Cooper Flight Jackets is no more. They were purchased by another company. If anyone would like to donate an item or items for the raffle, please bring them with you to the mini reunion. Again, the proceeds of the raffle go to support our reunion activities and our Association so please support us by buying raffle tickets.
Blue Stars Once Again Being Deployed to the Mid East
The current Blue Stars, 3-158
AVN, are once again being deployed to the
Blue Star Aviation Association
Our Association continues to grow and remain strong and solvent. The efforts of many make this possible. We will conduct our annual elections during our Association business meeting that will be held during our reunion. Up for grabs will be the post of Junior Member-at-Large and Vice President. I’m pleased to announce that Logan Weiler was elected as Vice President last year and will be the incoming President . If anyone is interested in running for office, please let me know ASAP. I understand that John-Al is running for Vice President this year!!! Good luck John-Al.
Many thanks to Stoney Stitzle, the outgoing Association President, for all of his hard work and support through the years.
If you aren’t a member of the
Blue Star Aviation Association, please take the time to consider joining. You’re supporting a worthy cause – the Blue
Stars! Please visit our website for an
application. It’s only $25 a year to
support such a great group of guys! …..And, if you’re already a member, it’s
time to send your annual dues in. Please
remit them to Bobby Schulze (
A quick Treasurer’s summary is as follows:
General Fund: $1,837.00
TOC Fund: $1,561.00
Please take the time to
complete the questionnaire for the proposed
What more can I say except
for thanks to everyone for their continued support of our Association and
reunion activities. Every year we
continue to add new names to our data base and hope to see those new faces at
our reunion. As we continue to grow, we
continue to have one of the largest participations, by unit, in the reunion
activities than any other RVN unit.
It’ll be warm in
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Email: email@example.com Cell: (909) 499-4691 Home: (909) 338-5935 (PST Time Zone)
Vietnam Questionnaire on Reverse Side – Please take a couple of minutes to complete and return. Thanks!