On Wednesday 26 Jan 11, USAAAD YTC will
say farewell to a legendary aircraft. The UH-1 Huey will
take its last flight around the range in commemoration of
the dedicated, trustworthy and dependable service this
aircraft provided. We will miss our dear friend as we
welcome a new era in the history of Yakima DUSTOFF. [Read
Charlie Company, 3/238th Homecoming
On Monday morning August 16, 2010 - COL (R) Dan Gower along with
two of his retired Air Force Buddies, traveled to Fort Hood, TX to
welcome home Charlie Company, 3/238th New Hampshire Army National
Guard. They returned from their deployment to support Operation
Iraqi Freedom. SGT Eric Bashor, a flight medic with the unit, had
been in contact since early July. The unit was de-mobilizing through
the Fort Hood SRP site (Soldier Readiness Process). Promptly at 0730
their buses rolled in and they lined up to began the day's tasks
ensuring they could get on the plane and go home the next day. Dan
and his buddies gave out coins, shook hands with all the DUSTOFF
Warriors and welcomed them home. Another great day to be a Soldier!
Gower 1SGT Aldridge MAJ Mattimore
SGT Seward accepts coin.
CPT Carmell gets coined and welcome home.
Gower coins member of C-3-328.
Charlie Company, 5/158th GSAB Homecoming
On August 12, 2010 Dan Gower had the great privilege to travel to
Katterbach, Germany to welcome home the DUSTOFF Warriors of Charlie
Company, 5/158th GSAB commanded by Major Mike Hughes. Coins were
given to all members of the Company and special Hall of Fame Coins
given to three stellar performers. Proud DUSTOFF Wife coins were
also presented to three of the family readiness group leaders for
their work, during the deployment, supporting the Warriors. This
unit had a rough deployment originally deploying to Iraq, but then
being uprooted and re-missioned to Afghanistan shortly after
arriving in Iraq. Fourteen members of this unit were the first
non-German recipients of the German Gold Cross for gallantry.
Bavaria DUSTOFF Standing Tall - C Co - 5/158th GSAB - former
45th Med Co (AA)
MAJ Hughes & 1SGT Guzman - Command Team
La Familia - Leadership Team - SFC Negron, 1SG Guzman, SFC
Dan thanks DUSTOFF Warriors of former 45th Med Co (AA)
Hall Of Fame coins presented to stellar performers - SGT
Cain, CPT McGuire, CW3 Rodriguez
Dan coins Major Hughes
Dan coins guidon bearer, CPL Favors
Dan congratulates CPT Partyka, SFC Negron, SFC Hernandez and
SFC Ares upon their Bronze Star award.
MAJ Hughes and 1SG Guzman uncase guidon.
LTC Howe congratulates CPL Favors, serving as guidon bearer.
DUSTOFF 83, recognized for valorous performance on 8 Mar 10
in Bala Morghab, Afghanistan. Air Medals w/V pending
approval. CPT Connelly, CW3 Pratt, SSG Proctor and SGT
CPT Connelly receives Meritorious Service Medal for leading
the Korean Village Remote site in Iraq and establishing Bala
Morghab Remote site in Afghanistan.
SGT Owens receives Air Medal w/V for heroic efforts on
DUSTOFF mission in Helmand Province.
Dan SGT Cain CPT McGuire CW3 Rodriquez Major Hughes
SGT Bolin receives Air Medal and ARCOM with Valor
German Gold Cross mission participants
DUSTOFF Warriors SGT King, SPC Weightman and SPC Seder (stud
FRG Leaders honored for their service
Dan Gower, Mrs. Tammy Doerer (CAB Cdr's Wife), Mrs. Perkins
and Mrs. Cackie Howe (BN Cdr's Wife)
Warrior Project MasterCard from USAA
proudly announced the
launch of the USAA Wounded Warrior Project World
MasterCard, which honors wounded warriors by
helping to fund WWP programs. The card also
represents USAA's commitment to helping service
members and their families build and maintain
New account and transaction revenue associated with
the co-branded credit card will assist WWP in
developing and delivering unique programs and
services to meet wounded warrior needs.
C-3-82 Return From Afghanistan
On the 7 and 8 July, the DUSTOFF Association paid a visit to
Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (the
former 54th Med Co). Dan Gower, Executive Director along with
Christine Hawk from Breeze Eastern Corporation were finally able to
present the DUSTOFF Aviator of the Year and DUSTOFF Crew Chief of
the Year awards. MAJ Dirk LaFleur, the commander of C-3/82, was
awarded the DUSTOFF Aviator of the Year award. SGT Patrick Janssen
was awarded the DUSTOFF Crew Chief of the Year award. Their service
and accomplishments in their most recent deployment to Afghanistan
are truly remarkable and stand as testimony to their dedication to
the mission. In the tradition of the DUSTOFF Association, all
members of the unit were given a DUSTOFF Association Coin, a hearty
handshake, and “Welcome home.” Many thanks to Christine Hawk who
interrupted a family vacation to make the trip to Fort Bragg and
make the award for SGT Janssen.
Aviator of the Year
Christine Hawk addresses
Presentation of Crew Chief
of the Year
to SGT Janssen.
L-R: Dan Gower, Christine Hawk, SGT Patrick Janssen, LTC
Wade Blackwell (GSAB Bn Cdr) and CSM Brown (GSAB Bn CSM)
Outstanding Members of
L - R: CW3 Ron Workman, CW3 Marcus Lewis, SGT Earl Cox (SI),
SGT Travis Mayo (Flight Medic), SGT Kevin Burleson (Maint.
NCOIC), CPT Francis McCahill (XO/OPSO)
Aviator of the Year
Christine Hawk coins LT
Burns Welcome Home
C-3-82 Dan and Christine at
Top Row L - R: SGT Janssen (CE of the Year), Christina Hawk,
CW3 Christopher Ryan (SIP), CPT Stephanie Burns (Platoon
Leader), CW2 Raul Dsouza, CPT Francis McCahill (XO/OPSO),
Shanna Esposito, Deanna Lafleur, CPT Marc Esposito (Plt
Ldr), MAJ Dirk Lafleur (CDR and Aviator of Year). Bottom row
L - R: CW2 Monica Narhi (MTP), CW3 Ron Workman (IP/IE), Dan
Gower, CW2 Sam Ratterree (IP), CW2 Billie Graves, CPT
Castronovo (Plt Ldr)
Dan coins member of C-3-82
Dustoff Soldiers Awarded
Germany’s Gold Cross Medal
14 American soldiers made history, becoming the first foreigners
to ever receive Germany’s Gold Cross medal, one of the nation’s
highest awards for valor.
The U.S. MEDEVAC crewmen stationed in Ansbach, Germany 12th CAB
5-158th were honored for risking their lives to come to the rescue
of German soldiers, who were ambushed by as many as 200 Taliban
fighters during a patrol north of the city of Kunduz on April 2nd,
They will soon be honored by the U.S. with medals as well. The
lead soldier who flew in over half of the missions on Good Friday
was Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason LaCrosse, Instructor Pilot, with
him CW2 Jason Brown Pilot in Command and the Dustoff Medevac crew.
The 14 Gold Cross recipients are: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Steven
Husted, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason LaCrosse, Chief Warrant
Officer 3 Nelson Visaya, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Brown, Chief
Warrant Officer 2 Sean Johnson, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Eric Wells,
Staff Sgt. Travis Brown, Sgt William Ebel, Sgt. Antonio Gattis, Sgt.
Steven Schumaker, Spc. Matthew Baker, Spc. Todd Marchese, Spc.
Gregory Martinez, Capt. Robert McDonough.
of the Taliban while Ambushing German ISAF Forces in Kunduz Good
Friday, April 2, 2010. The video shows the Taliban firing at the
German troops and relentlessly opening fire and hitting the Medevac
plane (being flown by CW3 Jason LaCrosse and CW2 Jason Brown with
Gold Cross Recipients
Gold Cross Medal
Gold Cross Recipients
Bild Newspaper Picture
Memorial Day, 31 May 2010 the DUSTOFF Association was
honored to participate in a ceremony inducting LTC Paul A.
Bloomquist into the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame at Hill AFB.
LTC Bloomquist was the 24th person and the first Army
aviator to earn this prestigious honor. LTC Bloomquist was
well represented by his brother Mr. Wayne Bloomquist, his
family, and a bevy of distinguished attendees. His induction
was commemorated by Senator Bob Bennett and MG Brian Tarbet.
Senator Bennett and MG Tarbet spoke eloquently about the
service and sacrifice of LTC Bloomquist as well as his
untimely death at the hands of terrorists. LTC Bloomquist’s
heroic past was eulogized and served as the catalyst for
honoring all of our fallen heroes and the superb history of
Presents Memorial Day Talk
Neal Stanley spent six days in Washington DC over Memorial
Day week and says it was a wonderful celebration of our
country, our military, and those soldiers that gave their
lives for our freedom. He was at the Wall 8-10 hours
everyday and says it was great talking to all of the
veterans and their families. On Monday morning he gave a
presentation at the Vietnam Women's Memorial as one of eight
speakers in the Storytelling program. Each speaker was
allocated 30 minutes to give their talk.
A Viper’s Strike
and A Dying Boy
Afghan boy’s battle to stay alive after being bitten on the
face by a viper involved United States Marines and second
generation DUSTOFFer MAJ Jason S. Davis (son of John Davis),
a pilot and the commanding officer of Company C, Sixth
Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, which provides a
detachment of Black Hawks to fly medical missions in central
and southern Helmand Province.
Credit: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
Dedication of UH-1 in honor of Mike and Mike Jr. Novosel at
Northwest Florida Regional Airport. The helicopter is a
static display in front of the Northwest Florida Regional
In the pic (left to right) is CPT Short (67J assigned to
JRTC at Polk), MAJ Dan Moore (Cdr Polk Det), COL Bob
Mitchell (immediate past president of DUSTOFF Association),
and COL Tom Deal (MC branch, USSOCOM Surgeon).
Welcome Home C-1/168 GSAB
On 6 and 7 March, Dan Gower traveled to Sacramento California to
welcome home the Charlie Company 1/168 GSAB (old 126the Med Co AA).
He once again handed out coins to the DUSTOFF Warriors and thanked
them on behalf of all of the DUSTOFF Association membership for
their selfless service. The unit was the winner of the recent
DUSTOFF Rescue of the Year award. This award, sponsored by Sikorsky
Aircraft, was presented at the 2010 Annual Reunion held in Panama
City Florida. Major Dan Anderson, the outgoing company commander,
changed command with the incoming company commander, CPT Adam
Sabourin, on Sunday morning, 7 March 2010. Dan Gower was the keynote
speaker for the ceremony. As in all of the visits to DUSTOFF Units,
several coins were presented to the members of the family readiness
group thanking them for their support of the troops during their
recent deployment to Afghanistan. Welcome Home DUSTOFF Warriors!
Dan delivers keynote speech for change of command
Dan Coins MAJ Dan Anderson CDR C-1-168
Charlie 1-168 Company ready for change of command
Dan hands out coins
Dan Coins DUSTOFF Warrior CA NG
Dan Coins DUSTOFF Warrior
Dan coins C-1-168 DUSTOFF Warrior
Dan Gives Coin and Hug to DUSTOFF FRG Leader
126th FRG members honored for their service
Preparing the Grog Bowl
Ready Start Go - Tricycle Races raised money for the FRG.
Welcome Home Lone Star DUSTOFF
(Charlie Company, 2-4 GSAB)
CW2 Alex Boucher and Admin Guru, receive the Sikorsky Rescue
CPT Chris Wingate, Executive Officer, and SSG Christina
Martinez, Flight Medic, enjoying the festivities.
CW3 Caynan Picard and son receive DUSTOFF Coin from SGM Jeff
SSG Shane Pollock, Flight Medic, receives the Sikorsky
Rescue Award from MG Brady.
CW3 Caynan Picard, TACOPS Officer and Pilot-in-Command,
receives Sikorsky Rescue Award from MG Pat Brady.
Jessica Seefeldt, proud DUSTOFF spouse, receives DUSTOFF
Spouse Coin from MG Brady for her contributions to the
Jessica Boucher receives the DUSTOFF Spouse Coin from Major
Mandril for her contributions to the Company's FRG.
Major Mandril and MG Brady present the Order of Saint
Michael Award (Bronze) to CW4 Doug Jester, CW4 Mike
Stollberg, CW4 Dennis Fletcher, and SFC Christopher Downey.
Shaney Mandril gets a hug from MG Pat Brady after receiving
the Lady of Loretto Award and a DUSTOFF Spouse Coin.
DUSTOFF Huey Dedication
are invited to the 5 May 10
dedication of a UH-1 "Dustoff" Huey in honor of local Army
Aviator and Medal of Honor recipient, the late CW4 Michael J
Novosel. The helicopter will be a static display in front of
the Northwest Florida Regional Airport terminal. It is
expected that Army Aviators will be recognized and a photo
taken to commemorate the event. [Read
H-13 Pilots Honored 12 Apr 10 at Fort Sam Houston
The “solopilots,” as they were known, received a grand
salute Monday at Fort Sam Houston as the post recognized the
daredevil fliers who pioneered a new era. Before an uneasy
armistice ended the conflict in 1953, pilots like Capozzi
would fly 18,000 U.N. casualties to hospitals, helping save
seven of every 10 victims. [Read
Annual Association Awards
MAJ Dirk Lafleur is our Aviator of the Year - from
Charlie Company 3-82 GSAB
SSG Matthew Kinney is the DUSTOFF Medic of the Year
SGT Patrick Janssen is our Crew Chief
of the Year - also from Charlie
Company 3-82 GSAB
Members are part of the two-crew operation winning
Rescue of the Year - Charlie 1-168 GSAB – California
National Guard. PICs Thomas Lemmons, CW2 Brandon
CPs – Todd Bonner, Tyler Smentek;
FM – Stephen Park, Rueben Higgins;
CE – Aaron DeCanio, William Dahl
67Js pose for a picture during the recent MNC-I Surgeon Medical
Synchronization Conference, Victory Base Complex (AL FAW Palace)
Front: 1LT Tyler Eikenberry C/7-158, MAJ Matthew Cox CDR C/3-10, CPT
Brent Hayward MND-B EVAC officer, MAJ William Clyde CDR C/2-227, MAJ
Guy Gierhart C/2-227 BN XO, MAJ Buddy Meador CDR C/1-52
Back: LTC(P) Scott Drennon TF MED DCCS, COL Bryant Harp 47th
CSH CDR, COL Patrick Wilson - OTSG Health Care OPs, COL Jeffrey Foe
MNC-I Deputy Surgeon, LTC Miles Armstrong MNC-I C3 Air Operations
Officer, LTC Dan Barnes MND-B Division Surgeon Med Planner
Charles Kelly's Flight Jacket Donated
The flight jacket worn by Major Charles Kelly had long been a part
of the 57th Medical Company’s orderly room. However, when the
company folded its guidon and was transformed to a Charlie Company
in a General Support Aviation Battalion, the link to the heritage
appeared to be lost. However, it was in the trusted care of their
battalion commander, LTC Scott Putzier. On the 24th of July 2009,
the flight jacket, now housed in a new shadow box frame and
protected by archival quality surroundings, was officially donated
to the Army Medical Department Museum by the DUSTOFF Association on
behalf of the Kelly Family. It was donated at the Gala Event
celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the AMEDD Museum. Dan Gower made
the presentation mentioning how Charles Kelly’s last words had
become the motto of the DUSTOFF Association and a call to duty for
thousands of DUSTOFF Warriors since his sacrifice on the battlefield
in Vietnam on 1 July 1964. MG (R) Pat Brady spoke next about the man
Charles Kelly and all that he signifies and what a great patriot and
leader he was. MG (R) Pat Sculley, Chairman of the AMEDD Museum
Foundation, accepted the jacket into the official archives of the
Pat Brady shares a bit of history
and insight into the man that was Charles Kelly.
Dan Gower presents the Charles Kelly
Flight Jacket to the AMEDD Museum on behalf of the Kelly
family from the DUSTOFF Association.
Many thanks to Deb and Bert for
going "above and beyond" to get this frame job done on short
notice in time for the presentation!
Helping Our Deployed Warriors
The holidays aren't the only time you may help our
troops. Here are some suggestion.
- Buy a prepaid phone card or a gift certificate for a
soldier you know or for a soldier in need through the
Army and Air Force Exchange Service;
AAFES.com or 800-527-2345.
- For a $25 donation, Operation USO Care Package will
put together a package and send it to a loved one, or
any service member, complete with a personal message
Operationusocarepackage.org or 800-876-7469.
- Our military troops require and deserve continued
support from those of us for whom they are fighting.
Guaranteed to make any soldier ecstatic, a membership in
the Military Care Package Monthly Club is the gift to
give when you want to tell your family member or friend,
that you care.
CNN Rides Along With DUSTOFF
Another good story / video on CNN about DUSTOFF crews;
"Golden Hour" in Afghanistan. Has Dr. Sanjay Gupta doing a
ride-along on a mission with the DUSTOFF crew.
Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project's Policy program creates and pursues
legislative and policy changes that will benefit severely
wounded service members and disabled veterans of the current
military conflicts. WWP's legislative program strives to support
injured service members by advocating for positive changes in
benefits and veterans policy.
Wounded warrior Backpacks contain essential care and comfort
items including clothing, toiletries, calling card, CD player,
and playing cards, all designed to make their hospital stay more
comfortable. They are provided to severely wounded service
members arriving at military trauma centers.
A smaller version of the WWP Backpack, Transitional Care Packs
are sent directly to Iraq and Afghanistan to provide immediate
comfort during a warrior’s relocation to the U.S. military
***Please consider sponsoring a backpack for a wounded soldier
by clicking HERE.***
Veterans Eligible for Cell Phone
NAUS reported that military veterans and active-duty
personnel are eligible for significant discounts on cell
phone plans - if they know to ask. Most veterans are
unaware of the potential savings on their monthly cell phone
bills. Monthly military discounts range from 15
percent on Verizon Wireless plans to 10 percent off - and no
activation fee - on T-Mobile agreements. Alltel,
Sprint and AT&T offer similar discounts. While not
everyone knows about the discounts, those who do say that
getting the companies to register them for the cheaper plans
is no easy task. Most services require a military
identification card, veteran identification card or military
discharge papers as proof of veteran status. Some
companies require online registration to get the discount.
Many companies, including Verizon, also offer discounted
plans for customers 65 and older.
Curious, I visited the Sprint site (my carrier) and
searched "veteran discounts" and got nothing. When I called
the toll free number the customer service rep (Wendy) didn't
know anything, so I read her the above article. She dug
through many computer screens and found the discount. Then I
asked her why Sprint was only 10%; weren't they as good a
company as T-Mobile? She agreed to up the discount to 15%.
Charlie 2-1 Welcome Home