APRIL 2019


Greetings Ghost Riders, Avengers, Caretakers (Both 189th & 604th), family and friends.  Spring and day light savings time are here and it is hopefully beginning to warm up.  Before we realize it we will be Easter and then summer will begin.


189TH AHC:  I am not planning a reunion for 2019.  I have sent out RFP’s to two different locations and was not satisfied with either one.  Perhaps someone would like to have a mini reunion.  Just step up and do it.  I will let you know what I plan later in the year.  We received a flyer from Fairfax, VA of the Army Museum opening in the summer of 2020.  Bobbye and I plan to attend a private tour in September of this year.  So Washington may be on for another reunion.  Let me know what you think.  But one thing for sure the pace and tours will be less so that you can spend more time in the hospitality room talking and getting to know one another again.  For some reason I cannot keep the pace anymore.  (I wonder why?)  The last reunion in DC was once in a lifetime opportunity for those that attended.  Who would ever think you could go to the US Capitol and White House.  Yep some of you missed that deal. 

VHPA:  The 2019 VHPA National reunion will be in Kansas City, MO.  28 May - 1 June 2019 at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown 200 West 12th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105.  For more information check the web site at:   https://reunion.vhpa.org/

VHCMA: The 2019 Crew Members reunion will be held in Augusta, Georgia June 11-16, 2019. We have signed the contract with the Marriott hotel in Augusta for our 2019 reunion.  For more information check the web site.  http://vhcma.org/

57th AHC:  The 2019 reunion will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota September 12 - 15, 2019 at the Double Tree by Hilton.  For more information check the web site. http://www.57thahc.com/reunion.php

179th ASCH:  The 2019 reunion will be October 8-10, 2019 at Hilton Garden Inn Midtown, Savannah, GA 31405.  For more information check the web site.  http://www.179thash.org/untitled1.html

That is all I can find on Unit Reunions at this time.  So if you were in another unit check out the web.

Pat Leary Writes:  2019 has already been a bountiful year for the orphanage and the kids.  We had a team go to Kontum and Pleiku in January and they accomplished an incredible amount.  We are building a proper classroom at VS3 for Sr Gabriel. There is no better gift than education. We are building a piggery at VS5 to help them become more self-sufficient. We also built new boys bathrooms at VS5.  We bought 14 acres of farmland for VS2. We also funded a system to increase the water supply at VS4.  We have another team that left 29 March to follow up on these projects.   I plan to go in October.  All of the travel expenses are paid by Board members themselves, no donations are used for expenses. 

We now have 29 kids in some form of higher education; college, trade school or apprentice programs.  We are partnering with another charity that runs a hostel / hotel in Kontum that employees and trains some of our kids in the finer points of the hospitality industry.    Our dental clinic kicks off in May.  Imagine getting 850 kids to the dentist!! 

I have seen many familiar names on our donor list and want to thank you for your contributions.  Because of you the nuns are able to make great progress.  They are a long way from being self-sustaining but we can see a clear and open road ahead of us.  We may no longer be around when they get there.   But you have helped pave the path.  We served then and we are serving now.

I plan on going to VHPA in Kansas City this year.  If you go; let’s touch base. I’ll host a personal guided tour of KC’s fountains.  KC has more public water fountains than any other city except Rome … look it up! 1


Pilot’s Perch article:  Steve Schmidt

We pilots – Travis (we know him as T.O.) Gillis with his wife Melba, Neil Benton and me with my wife Beth – attended the Vietnam War Museum fund-raising dinner in Fort Worth on Saturday, March 30th. But we have Norm McMullen and his wife Marg to thank for the special circumstances. They sponsored a table at the dinner and invited any 189th AHC personnel to join them. This was the second year that Norm made this gracious invitation. Our own Gerry and Bobbye Sandlin drove to Texas and attended also. It was a special occasion and even though the beer was freely available and the band was up close and loud we made it through the night and enjoyed our 189th Assault Helicopter friends. Norm and Marg certainly lead the way in their efforts to help the museum raise funds. The latest report is that the new museum building is completed and the artifacts are in hand. Now they are building the exhibits to properly show those artifacts.


So once again please be informed that the Vietnam War Museum is progressing, but don’t wait for it to be completed for your next visit. Our own 52nd CAB Memorial Wall and the small version of The Vietnam Wall (similar to the one in Washington, DC, but only smaller) were put in place long ago and are viewed every day by interested persons. If you pass thru Texas you would do well to stop into Mineral Wells and see where all the effort is paying off. You may even have a brick with your name on it – they are available for a donation to the museum.

Regards to all, Steve Schmidt (“Silver Lead” – 1st A/L Platoon)


Gerry’s Travels:  I am surprised of people telling me they like to read about our travels.  We are not traveling like we use to and I miss it.  We stayed home after the DC reunion.  In February we were invited back to Memphis to visit with the doctors and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  We had another great visit with them.  We just returned from Ft. Worth, TX from a fundraising for the Museum in Mineral Wells.  We were happy that Norm and Marg McMullen, TO and Melba Gillis, Steve and Beth Schmidt, and Neil Benton enjoyed an evening together.  Yes we did visit the Camp Holloway Wall at Mineral Wells.  Some work needs to be done on a few things.  Bobbye talked with the museum and they are looking into it.  The building of the Museum is starting to take shape.    We just got home and Siemens medical Supply called and wanted us to come back to Memphis for shooting a video of my story to use as a promotional.  We leave Saturday going back.  We come home for a few days and then fly back to Oregon to see our Great Granddaughters and of course family, but the babies are the reason I am going back.  After we return from Oregon we will be home for about two weeks and then head to Missouri for a dedication of another Vietnam Memorial where Tom and Julia Hogenmiller live.  Then we are back home and maybe we can do something with the motor home.  We wish each one of you a great year ahead.  Make your plans to attend the 189th Reunion in October 2020. 

Gerry & Bobbye   “Brothers forever”

189th AHC