Dear Fellow Blue Stars and jokers,

Here we are again, the beginning of May and the annual reunion bash is rapidly approaching. With most of the Denver reunion still somewhat fresh in our minds, itís time to get prepped for Vegas. Thatís right ó weíre going to Vegas this year!!!! For some, itíll be like getting on the duece-and-a-half for the daily run into Nha Trang. For others, itíll be like going to downtown Ninh Hoa . However you look at it, itíll be a blast. To date, there doesnít seem to be as many VHPA activities planned as in the past resulting in a bit more free time to socialize, which is what we do best.

Once more to the fence sitters, do something - fall off or tell me to stop sending you a Newsletter. This year has seen our Blue Star family lose several members. Time waits for no man! Preliminary indications are that we will see quite a few new faces in the crowd at Vegas (judging from the early registrations). Make one of those faces yours. Weíre getting tired of hearing the same old tales and lies. Weíd like to hear some new ones for a change. All kidding aside, our mini reunions have grown to be the largest of any unit during the VHPA reunion. Most other units are just amazed how are miniís are growing year after year. Weíre shooting for an all-time high this year of 150+. Help us make it happen. Like Iíve said before, once you attend your first reunion, youíll be back for more. SoÖÖ..onto the activities.

Vegas 2002

Las Vegas will welcome the VHPA this year. The TOC will be the Riviera Hotel. This yearís reunion dates are July 3rd through July 7th. The VHPA has a negotiated room rate with the Riviera of $76 a night. Iíve heard that you may be able to get cheaper rooms at the Riviera through the internet. I understand that the $76 rooms are in the new section and the less expensive rooms are in the old section. I donít know what the difference is but I do know that I only visit my room to sleep for a few hours and take a shower so a less expensive room means I can afford to lose more at the slots. The Riviera is across the street from Circus Circus and they usually have good room rates also. There are a lot of room bargains that can be found in Vegas through the internet. If you donít want to stay at the Riviera, you can probably get a good deal at a hotel close by. A shuttle runs the strip so transportation shouldnít be a problem. Be advised that POV travel on the strip will challenge your patience and you will be using words you might have not used for awhile. Lots and lots of traffic!

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If anyone is interested in viewing the activities planned for the reunion, you can do so by going to the VHPA website at www.vhpa.org. The VHPA activities will culminate with a banquet on Saturday night, July 6th. Registration for the VHPA Reunion and VHPA sponsored events can be made by going to the VHPA website and clicking onto the appropriate link. Read more on registration below.

48th AHC Mini Reuinon

This years mini reunion is scheduled for Thursday, July 5th from 1300 to ??.  As of now, there are no VHPA activities planned for the evening on the 5th so we can continue our gathering until the last man drops. As in the past, the same applies this year - you donít have to be registered with the VHPA to attend our mini reunion. The mini reunion is free and open to all, whether you are a VHPA member or not. All you have to do is show up. The location of our mini reunion will be posted in the VHPA registration area. Iíve requested a large room so all we have to do is fill it up. As in the past, we will have a TV/VCR combination and a slide projector available. So.... bring those slides/movies/etc with you and share them with everyone. We were all thinner and had more hair then so donít be afraid. We promise not to laugh!

Hospitality Suite

I have taken the liberty to reserve a Skybox to serve as our TOC this year. The Skybox overlooks the banquet area of the main ballroom. The Skybox will be available for the entire reunion period. Itís my understanding that the rental rate for the Skybox includes all the beer we can drink. Iím not sure who negotiated this deal but my hat is off to them. I know that we can drink more beer than the rental costs. Speaking of which, the Skybox will cost $600 for use July 3rd through the closing on July 6/7th. Iíve received a generous donation from Pat Ewing already but weíll pass the hat at the reunion to help pay for the Skybox. BTW, spitting and peeing over the rail of the Skybox may be frowned upon. Moons? Well, that might be another story.

Banquet Seating

I havenít heard a thing on advance reservations for group seating for the banquet. Iíd like to be prepared in any event, If you are planning to attend the banquet and would like to sit with the group, please send me your name, number of seats needed and the names of those in your party. Iíll put together the list and forward them to the appropriate person as soon as I can find out some more information. My contact information is at the end of this letter.

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Name Tags

Way back when, I made name tags up for the Blue Stars. Iíll be doing the same this year. Itíll be especially important for those who arenít registered with the VHPA (youíll look somewhat official with one). For those who still have them, bring them with you. Iím also planning to make them for family members, etc. If you need one, please send me the following:

® ® Name (obviously)

® ® Years with the 48th (or unit attached to the 48th)

® ® Call Sign

48th AHC Website

The 48thís website just continues to grow. Will Stafford just does an amazing job in collecting information and getting it posted. Visit the website and visit it often. It is constantly evolving. Upcoming reunion updates will be posted there as more information is received.

48th AHC Reflector List

You wouldnít believe the number of new members who have joined by in signing onto the reflector list. We continually find new members as they discover our existence through the internet or through other members. If youíd like to join the reflector list, you can do so by going to www.egroups.co/group/BlueStars. Click on the link to join and fill in the blanks. Be sure to tell us a little about yourself so we know who you are. You have several options for the frequency of receiving your email through the reflector list. I personally like the Daily Digest Mode. This eliminates receiving individual messages and you receive one message a day with all of the posts. It helps me maintain my sanity (whatís left of it anyway).

Help in Vegas

Once again, weíre looking for a little help with our mini reunion from those folks in the Vegas area. Weíll need a helium tank with an adapter to fill balloons with. Weíll need the large economy size one to fill a lot of balloons. If anyone can help in reserving one, getting it to the hotel and getting it back to the rental agency, itíll be appreciated. Youíll be reimbursed for the expense. As always, we need to make our presence known to everyone. If anyone has any other ideas, give me a yell (the balloons are getting old).

Since weíre going to have a balcony at the TOC, I was thinking of getting another banner made. This one would include a patch of all the platoons and other entities that were

 - Page 4 -

attached to the 48th. If anyone has another idea or a good (read cheap) source for getting one made, please let me know. We have to move fast on this one.

48th AHC Association

We are in the process of forming an official entity to be known as the 48th Assault Helicopter Association. We will be officially incorporated as an IRS Veterans group and file for the appropriate tax exempt status, blah, blah, blah. The idea has been kicked around for a long time and a lot of comments and input were received through daily bantering on the reflector list. As the formation of the Association continues, more will be posted on the web page. Please help us get off the ground and be a part of our history. More will be discussed at the Vegas reunion. I will have a copy of our Constitution and By-Laws available at the reunion.

Raffle

Weíre planning to have another raffle this year. Rick Lester is attempting to work out some weasel deals (I just put Rick on the spot). If weíre able to get what weíre hoping to get, weíll sell tickets through the reunion (itís a mystery item) and have the raffle after the banquet.

In closingÖÖ..

Once again, there are those who get this Newsletter and say "Iíll go next year. Iím just too busy this year". Once again Iíll say what are you waiting for? I donít know about the rest of you, but I sure ainít no spring chicken. Our reunions have become a highlight every year. Itís the single most event that I look forward to, even more than the first Monday night football game. Our reunion has something for everyone. Our "there I was" stories have gotten better every year. I still canít figure out why at least a half a dozen of us didnít get the CMH. Weíre getting more and more participation by crewmembers every year and they have contributed greatly to our organization, both then and now. Enough of the pleading stuff, see yíall in Vegas.

Any questions or comments, donít hesitate to contact me at many of the numbers below.

Home: (626) 358-2680 Email: (home) - joker90@gte.net
Work: (909) 860-7777 ext 254 (work) - ccortez@bas.com

Carl Cortez

Joker 90

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