THE GHOSTRIDER NEWS
189th Assault Helicopter Company
Greetings: GhostRiders friends and family members. Spring is here and the flowers are blooming and the allergies are giving everyone a runny nose, but best of all its getting warm in most places. It seems like a long time since we mailed out the last news letter, although we emailed one to those that we have a good email address for in early February. If you did not receive one send us an email.
Reunions: There are two reunions that I know of. The VHPA 27th NATIONAL ANNUAL REUNION in San Diego, CA June 30- July 5, 2010. For registration and information go to http://www.vhpareunion.org/. Steve Schmidt also has more information about two 189th mini reunions in the Pilot’s Perch section below. The 52d CAB and 170th AHC joint reunion will be held 16-20 September at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, MO. For more information go to http://52dcab.org/reunion.html.
PILOT’S PERCH, by Steve Schmidt: On Wednesday (April 7th) I stopped in Mineral Wells, Texas, at the Camp Holloway Memorial Wall for a short visit. It is such a pleasant place to visit with the replica of the National Vietnam Memorial Wall nearby and the UH-1H Helicopter supported overhead and gardens all around. We all need to be proud of our wall in Texas and our Vinh Son Orphanage in Kontum.
The VHPA annual reunion is being held at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, San Diego, CA, 30 June - 5 July 2010. We have two 189th AHC mini-reunions scheduled in conjunction with it. Our mini-reunion dates are Friday, July 2nd, at 1 PM to 5 PM and on Sunday, July 4th, at 1 PM to 5 PM. Two mini-reunions for twice the fun. Seems like we miss somebody every year, but with two mini-reunions we may do better. All 189th AHC members are invited as the meeting rooms are provided for us by the VHPA so all the members can attend the mini-reunions without any cost. Let’s see how many helicopter crews we can match-up there. Invite your favorite helicopter crew (mine is Boyd Clines, Larry Kimball and Ellis Hayes) and get to visit now while we still have a memory. The hotel address is 333 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. Regards, Steve (“Silver Lead” – 1st A/L Platoon)
Vinh Son Orphanage: We exceeded our goal of $1,600 and raised a total of $2,500. We will be able to fund construction of the administration building, provide furniture and have funds left over for another project. Thanks to the generosity of the 189th! I will be in Kontum from 14 to 23 April. I will review the plans for the building; discuss the details with the Nuns and the contractors. I am sure the project will be something we will all be proud of. There is a long list of needs at the orphanage. I will make sure the funds are used for improving buildings and grounds and that the 189th is recognized. I will report back to you when I return. I am sure that I speak for the Nuns and the children when I say...THANK YOU 189TH!!
PS. There are always needs at the orphanage. Even though we have met our goal please continue to support the kids. www.friendsofvso.org. 100% of your donations go to the kids and is tax deductable. Our board and staff are all Volunteers and no-one in this organization receives compensation for their services. Each member pays their own expenses for trips to Vietnam. Please send your Contributions to: Friends of Vinh Son Orphanages PO Box 9322 Auburn, CA 95604-9322. Mark your check in the Memo 189th AHC. Brothers forever, Pat Leary
To Organize or Not To Organize: In a survey we ask you last fall should we organize or not? The results were 50/50. I am in favor of organizing the 189th AHC into a 501 (c) 19. According to the legal beagles this is what we as veterans would come under as a Veteran Non Profit Association. So if some of you would like to draft some Bylaws and pass them to me I will be glad to look at them. Also there was some talk among a few about the 189th raising funds for Scholarships. This sounds good to me. If we are going to keep the 189th alive more folks have got to get involved other than just at a reunion. But, I do have my peace to speak first. If you are not willing to pay the price speak softly. Now you can gather wisdom from that or you can take it with a grain of salt. I have asked since 2003 to organize the 189th into an Association, but most of you were having too much fun working. Now some of you have retired and now have more time on your hands so now is your time to get evolved.
189th REUNION, OCTOBER 2011: Bobbye and I recently went to Tucson and toured 10 hotels for the 189th 2011 Reunion. Tucson is going to be a very exciting reunion. There are things to do in Tucson and Tombstone that we will never get to do any place else. After endless hours of looking at proposals and what each hotel offered we have narrowed our selection down to one hotel. This hotel kept sticking out with all of the amenities we have always asked for. Like all hotel properties they try to make every dollar they can for every square foot. Just like any real estate company does. Most of the hotels insist that we purchase our drinks and snacks from them at their cost plus a mark up, however they never come up with a cost up front. I want to know what it is going to cost us upfront as much as possible. Otherwise we could get the hose at the end of the reunion. That is the reason I have never sign a contract like that. We always get stuck with some charge that was not in plain sight, but we have always been able to cover it with our reunion funds. The hotel we are looking at will provide a hot American breakfast with the room rate and complementary parking and shuttle to the airport and we continue to provide our own drinks and snacks just like in the past. There are some other added benefits that I will explain in the June newsletter after we sign the contract. A couple other guys had said they wanted to meet us there last month to help plan, but their dates did not work out. We have one thing in our favor in Tucson. Mr. John Eslinger who was a civilian and worked with the 604th and 189th lives in Tucson and is connected with the Bone Yard, Museum, Missile Silo and other places you will only learn of if, and get to see if you attend the Tucson reunion. Bobbye and I met with John and had a good discussion about the reunion. We will go back in October if all works out and look at things to do with John’s assistances. I expect this reunion to be so filled with outside events that we may have to have the business meeting on Sunday morning.
Gerry’s Travels: Bobbye and I also took a trip up to North West Arizona last month and then my brother-in-law and I went across the Hoover Dam to see the new bridge. No thanks I do not want that job. The guy that rides that little rail car way up in the sky can keep his job. It was great to look out across the mountain range and see green as far as the eye could see, look up a few hundred feet higher and see snow at 70 degrees where we were... No brown desert again this spring as we have had lots of rain. Our summer is unsettled as we are waiting to learn if Bobbye will have surgery on her neck or not. If not we will go to Oregon for about 4 weeks and then back to Arizona for meetings in August and September with a few short trips to the San Diego Area to cool off a bit. I have became involved in organizing a new AMVETS here in Yuma and I was elected Vice Commander so that is going to keep me busy this summer. Everyone plan to attend a reunion this summer and have a safe summer as we hope to see you in Tucson.