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Time Remaining Until DUSTOFF Reunion in San Antonio, TX

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Latest DUSTOFF News
Registration for the 38th Annual Reunion, 30 Mar 17 - 1 Apr 17 is now open. Make your hotel and reunion reservations now.

If it's been a couple of weeks since your last visit to our site, you may want to visit our Old New Page (or any of the past years located in the left buttons) and get caught up on what you may have missed.

 

Online AAFES Exchange Opening to All Vets

After two years of study and debate, the Department of Defense has made a policy change, effective next November, to allow 16 million honorably discharged veterans to shop online for discounted military exchange products.

 

AAFES logoPeter K. Levine, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, signed a memorandum Wednesday announcing the benefit expansion, effective Veterans’ Day Nov. 11, and giving Congress the required 30 days’ notice before actions begin to implement the plan.

 

Months of preparation are needed to make e-shopping portals more robust and to allow the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) time to create software for verifying veterans’ status using Department of Veterans Affairs records. Several million vets already are eligible to shop in exchanges — on base or online — because they are active or reserve component retirees, or 100-percent disabled from service-connected injuries or ailments, or Medal of Honor recipients.

 

This will reward their service with exchange product savings that, on average, will be near to 20 percent versus commercial department store prices when military exemption from state and local sales tax are considered too.

 

Shull’s other purpose was to increase exchange revenues to help offset troubling declines due to the drawdown of active duty forces, base closures and the end of military tobacco discounts for the higher priority of healthier populations.

 

With DMDC verifying shopper identifies electronically, the department will not have to produce special identification cards. DMDC estimates that 13 percent of eligible veterans, primarily those who served before 1981 might not be in their data base when the shopping benefit becomes available. Presumably guidance will be issued for veterans who might have access problems initially.


DUSTOFF Association Honors Soldier
for aid under fire

In October, 2016, SFC Brian Miles contacted the DUSTOFF Association to inquire about honoring a Soldier who had performed life-saving actions under fire during a combat tour in Afghanistan. The DUSTOFF Association responded with a DUSTOFF Association Certificate of Appreciation and Association Coin for CPL Kyle Boucher’s actions.

DUSTOFF Association Honors SoldierCPL Kyle Boucher exemplified himself as an Infantry man during his combat tour in Afghanistan, May 2010-April 2011. On one occasion during an intense firefight the Squad’s only Medic sustained a significant gunshot to the neck. Without hesitation CPL Boucher jumped into action as the Eagle First Responder (EFR). He provided lifesaving measures while preparing a 9-Line MEDEVAC. CPL Boucher packaged the patient and prepared for movement to the LZ.

The LZ was under sustained and accurate gunfire. The squad laid down suppressive fire to keep the enemy at bay so the DUSTOFF aircraft could land. He and his Squad loaded the patient on the aircraft without sustaining any additional casualties.

CPL Boucher demonstrated medical and tactical grit during an intense engagement with a formidable enemy. He treated life-threatening injuries and prepared the patient for a MEDEVAC. These actions are in keeping with the traditions and mission of the DUSTOFF community.

CPL Kyle Boucher, formerly of 1-327th, 1st BCT, 101st Airborne Division is now a fire fighter with West Springfield, MA. At the ceremony, Mayor William Reichelt and Fire Chief William Flaherty made the award along with DUSTOFF Association Member SFC Bryan Patrick Miles on 22 December 2016.


What Do Coins Left On Grave Markers Mean?

Coins on grave marker.Have you ever been in a cemetery and saw coins lying on a tombstone? All these coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who have perished, depending on their denomination. Leaving coins on the headstones of those who served in the military, especially those who died in combat, dates as far back as the Roman Empire.

A coin left on a headstone lets the deceased soldier’s family know someone stopped by to pay their respect. Leaving a penny means you visited. A nickel means you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp together. If you served with the soldier in some capacity, you leave a dime. A quarter is significant because it means you were there when that service member was killed.


Vietnam Dustoff Association Reunion

As promised at our 2016 reunion, we would have our 2017 reunion data posted on our webpage. The 2017 reunion for Vietnam Era Dustoff Crewmembers will be held in Dover DE. All of the information minus a lodging reservation link is provided on our Web site: www.vietnamdustoff.com .

In reunions past, our agenda has included many different tours and informational presentations along with exciting guest speakers. The 2017 reunion is no different with the exception being that WE ARE BEING INVITED. Yes, your eyes read correctly. This year, our host is local Vietnam Veterans Association who have invited us to be their guests for a dinner, at their cost, a memorial dedication of a brick honoring Vietnam Dustoff Crew Members which will be placed in a walkway beneath a "Huey on Stick" which is decked out in a Dustoff paint scheme along with a having a 45th Dustoff Patch painted on the aircraft.

Our guest speaker, has asked to speak to us, and is retired US Air Force Officer shot down over the north and spent 6 years as a POW. The governor of Delaware has asked to speak at one of the gatherings as well. We are sure as the agenda develops further that additional dignitaries will be present and wanting to speak.

As you can see the differences between past and present is that we went somewhere, had to ask for assistance and support and seek out a guest speaker. Now the tables are reversed--we are invited, we are hosted, we have speakers of keynote wanting to talk with us and we have organizations wanting to say 'thank you' for what we did for them.

Take a look at the webpage, check your calendar and please consider joining us for this event. I believe you will find it to be a very rewarding event.


Fall/Winter DUSTOFFer Newletter

Fall/Winter DUSTOFFer NewsletterThe latest edition of our world-famous newsletter is now available. So get in your helicopter and hover over to the nearest newsstand, or maybe just visit our Newsletter section and read it online. It's available for reading online or downloading to your tablet for enjoyment standing on a line somewhere or your sitting waiting for your next medical appointment. Sure beats reading the 1973 edition of Field and Stream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Reunion Events Schedule Taking Shape

DUSTOFF reunion hotel.Once again we will be in Military City, USA, San Antonio, TX, for our reunion. The Holiday Inn–Riverwalk has provided us with all the requested amenities and locations for our events. So, mark your calendar and make your travel plans. Get those hotel reservations locked in. We are excited to be coming back to “the Mother Ship” as Ben Knisely calls San Antonio.

 

The dates are 30-31 March and 1 April. Checkout on Sunday 2 April after memorial service. Hotel accommodations may be made by visiting this reservation site. You can then select the dates, and select the rooms and the group rate is applied (Group Code is WEG).

 

To liven up things a bit we’re expanding the dates a little bit and exploring some ways to enjoy Texas culture and each other’s company. For those who want to arrive early, we have a smaller block of rooms available for early check-in and departure.

 

If you want to arrive on the 29th and go to a SPURS basketball game, we suggest you lock in tickets now. They are not cheap and by then can/will go up in price. We are not providing tickets and it’s up to you to go to http://spurs.com or to http://ticketmaster.com 290 Wine Roadand purchase your tickets. We suggest you get together with your own groups and make those connections.

 

On Thursday, 30 March 2017, we’ve secured transportation to and from Fredericksburg, TX, for a day of shopping, some good German food, and THREE winery tasting tours. Transportation is round-trip and the three tasting tours are a special group rate with wine tasting fees included. Bus will depart the Holiday Inn – Riverwalk at 0900 hours and return you to the hotel at about 1830-1900 hours—full day of exploring, good food, and wine tasting.

 

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Help Find Lost Association Members

We have an abnormally large number of Association members we can no longer communicate with. When postcards are sent out, for instance to announce voting for Hall Of Fame inductees, we've received cards as "Undeliverable." Please take a moment to scan the list of lost members and send us contact information if you find your name or you know the where-about of someone on the list. [See List]


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