PAST REUNIONS

2012

2012 Reno Reunion Attendees 32 guys for a total of 63
** First Time Attendees**

1. Apking, Perry & Lila CE65-66
2. Barrie, Jim & Judy CE 70-71
3. Bennett, Allen& Jan CE 67-68 with Nick McCarra (g-son) Olivia Stone (g-daughter)
4. Browne, Bob P 67-68
5. Cooper, Ed & Vanessa G 67-68
6. DeSerres, George P 67-68
7. Drolsum, Ken & Sue Maint. Sgt.67-68
8. FIMAN, RON & MAXINE CE 63-64
9. Fischer, Jim & Jackie CE 67-68
10. Garza, Steve & Carol Maint. 68-69
11. Gruhn, Larry & Marsha P 67-68
12. REFIOR, BOB & JO P 63-64
13. HAYWOOD, KEN & BARB CE 68-70
14. Holden, Dave & Annie CE 63-64
15. Hollars, Mickey CE 68 Sidewinders
16. Kayfus, Bill & Mary Ann Phillips (sister) CE 65-67 Sidewinders
17. Kroll, Paul & Laureen CE 68-69
18. Lurito, Egidio & Linda Eng. Shop 68-69
19. Maydole, Wes & Shirley Motor Pool
20. Murawski, Jeff G 67-68
21. O’Malley, Jack & Lori CE 67-68
22. Orazio, John & Karen CE 70-71
23. Paik, Bobby & Sharon CE 64-65
24. Roddy, Frank P 65-66 with:Mark (son),Cameron (g-son) & John Banks (family friend)
25.** Rounds, Jack & Lois ** CE 68-69
26. Sakihama, Ed & Louise CE 64-65
27. Seale, Ray & Jo ATC 63-64
28. Scales, Kenneth & Debbie CE 70-71
29.** Shelton, Blaine & Sandra** G 67-68
30. Skyer, Mike CE 68-69
31. Smith, Tom & Wife CE 71-72
32. Sullivan, Dave & Yolanda P 67-68

 

2011

117th AHC 2011 Reunion
40 Guys attended 15 were 1st Timers Total attendees = 72
**Names are 1st Timers**
1. Apking, Perry & Lila CE 65-66
2. Bennett, Allen, Jan & Nick(G-son) + Sisters: Peggy & Janice CE 67-68
3. Blackburn, William (Bill) 68-69
4. Bradley, Lee & Cindy CE 71
5. **Brown, Lendell** P 72
6. **Clyde, Kyle ** CE 71-72
7. Cooper, Ed & Vanessa G 67-68
8. Cowart, Vance & Lyn G Sidewinders 71
9. **Couch, Rick & Carole** P & 1st Plt Ldr 70-71
10. Drolsum, Ken & Sue CE 117th & 140th Plt Sgt 68-69
11. **Freeman, Bob & TC** P & CO 70-71
12. Garcia, Bob & Belinda G 66-67
13. Garza, Steve, Carol & Sheri Maint.68-69
14. Hamilton, Bob & Willa P 70-71
15. **Hayes, Mike ** P 68-69
16. Haywood, Ken & Barb CE 68-70
17. Hollars, Mickey CE 68-69
18. Joyner, Tom & **Sue** CE 69-70
19. **LeBlanc, Richard & Barbara ** CE 68-69
20. Lurito, Egidio & Linda 140th/117th Eng. Shop 69-70
21. Murawski, Jeff G 67-68
22. **Nelson, Rick ** CE 67-68
23. O'Malley, Jack & Lori CE 67-68
24. **Orazio, John ** CE/G 70-71
25. Paik, Bobby & Sharon CE 64-65
26. **Peterson, Patrick Eng. Shop 71
27. Refior, Bob & Jo P 63
28. **Renfro, Anthony (Tony)88 CE 68-69 + 140th
29. Roddy, Frank & Mark(son) + Cameron(G-son) P 65-66
30. Sakihama, Ed & Louis CE 64-65
31. **Scales, Kenneth +Debbie** CE 70-71
32. Schneider, Glen & Rose Lynne CE 65-67
33. Seale, Ray & Jo ATC 63
34. Shippey, Jim & Diane + **Bob & Pam** G- 64 from 25th Inf. Shotgun 8 Program
35. Skyer, Michael CE 68-69
36. **Smith, Tom** CE/G 71-72
37. **Stewart, Gary ** CE 70-71
38. Sullivan, Dave & Yolanda P-67-68 Guns
39. **Waldron, Russell** CE 71
40. **William, Denny ** Supply/ POL 72

 

2010

The 2010 Atlanta, GA Reunion was the largest so far. We had 38 guys for a total of 72 people

2010 117th Atlanta Reunion Attendees were:
The * by the name indicates 1st time to the reunion
1. * Keith Alleger P-68-69
2. * Carl Allen P-71-72 1st Plt
3. Perry and Lila Apking CE 65-66
4 .* Carlos and Mary Lou Arrendondo CE- 68-69
5 * Jim and Judy Barrie CE-70-71
6. Al and Jan Bennett CE 67-68
w/Sisters Peggy & Janice ,Mother Leah , Daughter and Grandson Kim & Nick
7 * Bill Blackburn 68-69
8 .* John Bouchard P-67-68-2nd Plt
9. * Lee Bradley CE-71
10. * Anthony(Buzz) Carosella G-71 Siderwinders
11. Ed and Vanessa Cooper G 67-68
12. William(Bill) Cooper CE-66-67
13. * Vance and Lyn Cowart 71 Sidewinders
14 * Tony Cucchiara CE-71-Sidewinders
15. George DeSerres P-67-68-Sidewinders
16. * Bob Donnenwirth P-63-64
17. Oscar Flores CE-69-70-2nd Plt
18. Chett and Peggy Fromm CE-63-64
19. Bob and Belinda Garcia G 66-67
20. * Steve, Carol & Sheri Garza 68-69
21. * Hoge and Gustie Greene + 2 CE-63-64
22. Bob and Willa Hamilton P-70-71 1st Plt
23. Dave and Annie Holden 140th CE-63-64
24. Dave and Wanda Loftin P-66-67-1st Plt
25. Egido and Linda Lurito 140th/117th Eng. Shop 68-69
26. Joe and Spencer McGovern P-67-68 2nd Plt
27. Jeff and Barb Murawski G 67-68
28. Jack and Lori O'Malley CE 67-68
29. Bobby and Sharon Paik CE 64-65
30. Joe and Priscilla Parent CE 67-68
31. * Bob and Joellen Refior P-63-64
32. Frank Roddy + 2 P 65-66
33. Ray and Jo Seale ATC 63
34. Jim and Dianna Shippey G-64-65 25th Shotgun Program 35. Mike Skyer CE 68-69
36. Dave and Yolanda Sullivan P 67-68
37. * Ronald L. Warner P-72
38. * Dennis and Rosemary Wood CE-65-66BR>

 

2009

The 2009 Reno, NV Reunion was the second best we have had. With the San Antonio,TX being first.

We had 31 guys attended and counting the family members we had a total of 60 people.

2009 117th Reno Reunion Attendees were:


The * by the name indicates 1st time to the reunion
1. Perry and Lila Apking CE 65-66
2. *Robert and Diane Baden P 65
3. Al and Jan Bennett w/Sisters Peggy & Janice CE 67-68
4. Bob and Lurline Browne P 67-68
5. Ed and Vanessa Cooper G 67-68
6. *Jim and Katherine Davis CE 64-65
7. *Ken and Sue Drolsum w/Daughter 140th 67-68
8. Ron and Maxine Fiman CE 63-64
9. *Jim and Jackie Fischer CE 67-68
10. Bob and Belinda Garcia G 66-67
11. *Russell (Rusty) Garcia G 69-70
12. *Hans Halbertstadt and April 8th Trans G 62-63
13. Dave Holden 140th CE 63-64
14. Mickey Hollars CE 68-69
15. *John and Kristi Huske 256th Avionics 64-65
16. *Paul and Laureen Kroll CE 68-69
17. Egido and Linda Lurito 140th/117th Eng. Shop 68-69
18. *Wes and Shirley Maydole 117th 67-68
19. Jeff and Barb Murawski G 67-68
20. Jack and Lori O'Malley CE 67-68
21. Bobby and Sharon Paik CE 64-65
22. *Joe and Priscilla Parent CE 67-68
23. *Frank and son James Roddy P 65-66
24. Ed and Louise Sakihama CE 64-65
25. Ray and Jo Seale ATC 63
26. Mike Skyer CE 68-69
27. Scott, Hidi and Gala Strong 117th Maint 69-70
28. Dave and Yolanda Sullivan P 67-68
29. William Sulowski 140th 62-63
30. *Gordon Swolaard 140th/117th 69-70
31. Bob and Suzie Wagner G 67-68

The 2010 Reunion will be in Atlanta Georgia June 17-20

Ed Sakihama is one of the luckest guys at the Reunion. During the Saturday Dinner Dance. The VHCMA raffles off several items. One of which is the VHCMA quilt. Ed won that quilt and then won several other nice prizes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

2008

The 2008 117th Reunion in St.Louis, MO. was a success.
Thanks to all those who helped make it happen.
A special thanks to Bob Garcia, Bob Hamilton and to my sisters Peggy and Janice and to my brother Jerry
(who was able to obtain the Anheuser-Busch items).

 

 

2007

 The Orlando Reunion was great, some even went to see Mickey.

We had 22 guys and 17 ladies attend.

The Friday evening dinner was superb everyone had a good time and had plenty to eat.

Some were even able to take some of the food back to the resort. Most everyone said it was the best steaks they have had.

Being picked up by the restaurants bus was a major plus.

If you are ever in Orlando try Charley's Steak House at 6107 So. Orange Blossom Trail .

The service was first class.

 

Saturday the ladies spent the morning at a Spa and returned to the resort looking like the queens that they are.

They have to be to let us guys stay at the resort and tell our  lies and embellish on our war stories.

The VHCMA  Saturday Evening Dinner/ Dance  was good. The food was good , not as good as Charley's though.

During the VHCMA Raffle found raiser Wendell Brooks did pretty well.

 He won a back pack full of goodies that he and his son Dallas had a ball going through.

Guess we are getting older most of us called it a night a little early.

However a few went to one of the pools and had a nice evening swim.

We had a few first timers for a reunion and they said they will be back.

It's a good time to make new friends and renew old friendships from years ago.

 

Those who attended are:

Perry and Lila Apking - CE 65-66
Al and Jan Bennett - CE 67-68
Wendell, Carmin and Dallas Brooks - Maint.67-68
Tom and Sheila Bynum - Gunner 67-68
Bill Cooper - CE 66-68
Ed and Vanessa Cooper - Gunner 67-68
George DeSerres - Gun Pilot 67-68
Ron and Maxine Fiman -CE 63-64
Chet and Peggy Fromm -CE 64-65
Bob and Belinda Garcia - Gunner 66-67
Jerry Johnson -Gun Pilot 66-67
William Kayfus and nieces Taylor and Kayleigh - CE 65-67
Egidio and Linda Lurito Maint. Eng. Shop 69-70
Jack and Lori O'Malley - Gunner and CE 67-68
Jeff and Barb Murawski - Gunner 67-68
Bob and Sharon Paik - CE 64-65
Tom and Mary Rose - CE 64-65
Ray Seale - Air Traffic Control 63
Mike Skyer - CE 68-69
Scott Strong  - Maint. 69-70
Dave and Yolanda Sullivan - Gun Pilot 67-68
Bob and Sue Wagner - Gunner 67-68

I will post some pictures at a  later date.

 

 

 

2006

Phoenix, AZ
I think this time, before we talk about the reunion, we should talk about the VHCMA (Vietnam Helicopter Crew members Association).  The reason I want to do this is because I realized that there was some confusion about the 117th and the VHCMA.  In some cases, people found it hard to separate the two organizations, so I want to take a little moment to clear up any misconceptions about 'us' and 'them'.

The first year that Jan and I went to the VHCMA reunion, there was no 117th AHCVA, it had not even been thought about.  We had a good time at the VHCMA reunion and the following year a couple of 117th members showed up at the VHCMA reunion.  Oscar Flores (117th in 69-70) asked me why we did not start a 117th organization.  Well, we talked about it for a while, then Jan converted my personal website to the company website, and the 117th elected officers.  The organization has just sort of grown on its own.  At each reunion, it seems there are more and more of us.  The VHCMA has graciously, free of charge, given us our own hospitality room.  Some of you have wondered why we have the reunion at this time of year.  It is because the 117th alone cannot afford to pay for their own hospitality room.  This is not the only benefit.  The VHCMA also secures rooms at a much cheaper rate than the 117th could because of their sheer numbers, numbers that we do not yet have.  So we all benefit from these two things, but also, if any of you went on the trip to the reservation this year, that was also arranged by the VHCMA, another benefit was the nice meal we had on Saturday night for a reasonable price.  All their hard work and the 117th reaps the benefits just by attending and enjoying their function.  A win/win situation for everyone.

This was the first year that the 117th decided to have a dinner of their own on Friday night.  Jan and I were well pleased with the way it worked out.  We hope that everyone who attended felt that it was worth the bus ride and the price for the meal.  From the feedback that we have had thus far, we will probably try to do something like that again, only next year in Orlando.

We arrived on Monday to a temperature of 110 degrees, it went to 115 during the week we were there, and Thursday evening it was 105 degrees at 10pm.   Jan and I went to dinner with Perry and Lila Apking Tuesday night, I don't remember what we did Wednesday night but come Thursday, I was sick, so Jan went off to dinner by herself with the group.  Come Friday, I was up and around and feeling a little better. 

We would like to thank several people for the part they played in the success of this years reunion.  First, a big THANKS to Tony Adolph for scouting out Monti's for us.  Tony lives in Phoenix but is in the National Guard and is gone a lot.  We were sorry that he was unable to attend the dinner with us.

Also, we want to thank Perry Apking for blessing our meals and for the invocation prior to the VHCMA business meeting Saturday afternoon and the VHCMA Saturday night Dinner/Dance.

Thanks to our President,  Bob Hamilton, for his Friday night pre-dinner speech. 

 We were also visited by two guys from D. CO RANGERS who the 117th supported in 1969 KEN  BUSSEY & wife Nancy and BRUCE SHERWOOD.

 

We also want to thank  those of you who attended this reunion who attended against all odds.  We know that people have busy lives and schedules, so we just want you to know that we appreciate the effort you made to be in attendance.  Thanks, Jan & Al Bennett

JUST SOCIALIZING

(just click on any picture to enlarge it)

 

 

Al & Jan Bennett

 

Bob & Willa Hamilton

 

Jim & Dee Watkins

     
  John Domino   Bill Cooper  
   
Lori & Jack O'Malley   Taylor Phillips, neice - Bill Kayfus - Diana Heisi, neice   Bill Sulowski
     
  Bob & Belinda Garcia   Sharon & Bobby Paik  
   
Carl & Rosie Norris   Dale & Alice Garber   Dave & Anne Holden
     
  Ed Sakihama   Emerson Brigham  
   
Lee & Candy Malm   Jeff & Barbara Murawski   George DeSerres
     
  Mickey Hollars   Mike Skyer  
   
Perry & Lila Apking   Ray & Jo Seale   Cooper with Walt & Rosalyn Atwood
 

 

 
  Wendel Brooks   Tom Pesnicak  
 

 

 
Dave, Jr., Dave & Yolanda Sullivan       L-Bill Sulowski  R- Mitch Matsuoka
         
         
   

   
   

GROUP SHOT

   
   

 

   
         
         
         
         
         
         
   

 

   

 

FRIDAY NIGHT 117TH ONLY - DINNER AT MONTI'S

   
Our bus   Hacienda turned restaurant   Seats about 700
     
   

 

 

SATURDAY MORNING, THE GARBER'S HAVE TO LEAVE

   
         
     
         
         
     

 

 

SATURDAY EVENING DINNER WITH VHCMA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

         
   
         
     
         

 

 

 

 

 
   

   

     

         
 

     
         
         
         
         
         
         

MELBOURNE, FL 26th-30th of April 2006

     The 117th had another GREAT mini-reunion in Melbourne this year.   The Bennett's arrived somewhere shortly after midnight Tuesday night at the Wickham Park Rangers check in, but the Rangers had closed at 10pm, before our arrival.  Since we planned to sleep in our slide in camper on the back of our truck, it was perfect anyway.  We just snoozed until they opened the office the next morning.  We were able to snag the last four sites that were together for our group.  It so happened they were on the lake.  WONDERFUL! J

     The weather cooperated beautifully. There was a minor sprinkling of rain with no thunder or lightening late Wednesday afternoon. Not a problem because Boyscout (Al) and Bob (Wag) and a couple of others had put up a couple of nice adjoining tarp shelters. I'm sure it must have been hot because we all turned pink, but it was not uncomfortable or sticky because the wind was ever blowing to cool things down. The nights were very comfortable, no A/C needed.  Actually, we started putting on more clothing as the sun went down each night.

     The entertainment was exceptional, the Brevard Veterans have outdone themselves again.  There were several vendor choices to choose food from and the merchandise vendors were there as well.  Jan Bennett went to the Wall and made an etching for her cousin Rick who had lost a friend in Vietnam.

     We would like to apologize to Wendell Brooks because we failed to get a photo of him and his family.  Of all the people there, they really worked hard.  Wendell went to the docks Saturday and bought Mahi Mahi and cooked a superb fish fry for everyone on Saturday night.  IT WAS DELICIOUS! Thank you Wendell, Carmen and Dallas.

     Our days got sort of messed up what with the comings and goings of so many folks, so I may give a little wrong info, but hope not.  On Wednesday, Wendell came alone to set up their canopy and cook table.  Carmen was at home because Dallas was still in school. On Wednesday, Bob Wagner came in with his Kayak and fishing gear.  He enjoyed his trip down from Pennsauken, NJ immensely. Also on Wednesday, Tom Bynum came over from Orlando for a bit, but had to return home that evening.  JJ & Ellen Aretz came in from Montgomery, AL on Wednesday.

     JJ's brother Tom came in on Thursday with Neal from Destin, FL.  Neal was a childhood friend of Tom and JJ when they lived in Pennsylvania.  JJ was with the 334th UTC, Tom was with the 116th AHC, and Neal  was a Marine. The 334th was just across the flight line from the 117th RVN.  Al and JJ met about 1991 in Danielsville, GA at the LZ Friendly campout.

    Friday again brought us Tom Bynum (and Jack O'Malley from Chicago who Tom had picked up at the Orlando Airport).  They were delayed quite a bit by the fires that were raging about 20 miles from the campground.  Some of the roads were closed due to the fire.  Although this particular fire did not affect the campground, the last two did.  The campground lost a building and lot's of underbrush, but the damage was not extensive. 

     We were surprised by Chet and Peggy Fromm Saturday afternoon, they were not able to stay long, but we were very glad to see them. Early Saturday afternoon Tom Rose and his wife Mary came by to join us for the evening.  In the late afternoon, Joe Carlton and his wife Cathy dropped by to say hello.  They were camping on the other side of the campground with another group. 

     Tommy Phillips dropped by Saturday to say hello.  Tommy was with the 116th AHC also.

     We hope you enjoy the pictures - they were the combined effort of Jack O'Malley and Al Bennett.  Thank you Jack.

 

     
PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE

ARETZ & WAGNER

  BENNETT & BYNUM   BYNUM, ARETZ, WAGNER & BENNETT  
           
           
     
  BYNUM, O'MALLEY, ROSE, WAGNER   ELLEN & JJ ARETZ   FLAGS PROUDLY DISPLAYED
           

JIM GILLYARD & BOB WAGNER

 

GILLYARD, BENNETT & WAGNER

 

L-R IN BACK:

O'MALLEY, BYNUM, CARLTON, ROSE, BENNETT

L-R IN FRONT: FROMM & WAGNER

 
           
           
           
 

L-R BYNUM, AL & JAN BENNETT, TOMMY PHILLIPS SITTING, ELLEN ARETZ, BOB WAGNER AND BACK OF TOM ARETZ.

 

JIM GILLYARD

 

JOE & CATHY CARLTON, AL BENNETT & BOB WAGNER

           
           
     
JACK O'MALLEY   PHILLIPS & FROMM   BOB WAGNER  
           
       
  BOB WAGNER   WAGNER, BENNETT & BYNUM    

 

 

2005

 

OHIO RIVER LZ CHAPTER

VHPA

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY

We attended the Ohio River LZ VHPA Reunion which was held on Feb. 24-26, 2006 and we had a great time.  A couple of our 117th Pilots were also in attendance.  Bob Hamilton who is the past President of the Chapter, Keith Alleger and Dennis Gartland.

We stayed at The Campbell House, which was recently acquired by The Crowne Plaza.  It was a remarkable experience and quite unusual in it's design.  It resembled an antebellum style mansion, down to it's white exterior and black shutters and black wrought iron adornments. It was filled with stairwells, so many that one could have gotten lost. It was very interesting, historical and unique.  The food was EXCELLENT !  I believe I overheard someone say that they are a four or five star restaurant and we well believe it.  Their prices on lodging and food were overwhelmingly reasonable.  This was a very pleasurable stay.

On Saturday, we went on a tour, by bus, two buses actually.  We first went to the Buffalo Trace Distillery, pictures below, and then to lunch at a wonderful Italian restaurant.  I should have written down the name of it.  It was located in downtown Frankfort and I believe it was called Serafini's.  I would surely love their Lasagna recipe!  Another pleasurable experience.  Our lunchtime companions were Jay and Kathy McAlpine.  Although it was the first time we had met, we had a good visit with them.

After lunch, we toured the Ashford-Coolmore Stud Farm.  It was a beautiful and well taken care of facility. It was highly interesting in the fact that it takes so much human interaction and science to be sure of thoroughbred breeding.  The ownership of the farm is international.

When we arrived back at the hotel, it was time for the business meeting.  Once the business meeting was over, we had to start getting ready for the evenings festivities.  The dinner was an enjoyable, emotional success.

We would like to thank the Ohio River Chapter of the VHPA for extending this invitation to us.

We hope you enjoy the photos.  Jan & Al Bennett

 

THIS IS ONE OF THEIR TWO MAJOR AWARDS IN 2005 BOURBON BALLS ARE YUMMY ! WRAPPING BY HAND
BOTTLE CORKS       PACKING BY HAND  
 

 

 

AL & JAN BENNETT

  WATER TOWER   THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DISTILLERY   OLD COPPER DISTILLER
           
           
ASHFORD -  COOLMORE        STUD FARM    
60 MILLION DOLLAR HORSE   THIS HORSE COMMANDS A $125,000.00 STUD FEE   AN OLD LOG CABIN ON THE PROPERTY  
           
     
COMING INTO THE VIEWING/STUDDING BARN   THE ENTRANCE TO VIEWING/STUDDING BARN   BACK ENTRANCE TO STUDDING BARN  
           
     
  WALKING TOWARD A STABLE   STABLE EXTERIOR   STABLE INTERIOR each stable houses 8 horses.
           
       
KENTUCKY IS A BEAUTIFUL STATE   WELL KEPT GROUNDS      
           
           
  SATURDAY EVENING DINNER    
           
  ( AND PIX OF THE MORNING AFTER)      
           
       
L-R DENNIS GARTLAND - BOB HAMILTON - AL BENNETT - KEITH ALLEGER     KEITH TRYING ON HIS NEW 117TH HAT    
       
    JAY McALPINE TALKING WITH JOE, OUR SPEAKER FOR THE EVENING     GAIL AND WILLA CATCHING SOME TUNES
       
SAYING GOODBYE TO FRIENDS     HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BOB AND WILLA'S DAUGHTER KARA  
    OUR LAST BREAKFAST ON THE PREMISES      
           
           
           

 

 

 

DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, FL.

 

NOVEMBER 05-07, 2005

    Al & Jan Bennett's house in FL

just click to enlarge the pix

  

Les Brusse & Al Bennett

  Bob and Charlotte Donnenwirth  

Larry Gruhn, Al Bennett, Les Brusse, Bob Donnenwirth

  Barry Nordlof, Les Brusse, Ray Seale    
      Bob & Willa Hamilton  
Willa Hamilton, Jo Seale, Jan Bennett & Ray Seale  

Marsha Gruhn

 

Barry Nordlof, Les Brusse, Ray Seale

 

Jan, Willa & Marsha

   
      Angie Brusse  

Betty Nordlof

   

Tom Bynum & Al Bennett

    Tom Bynum    
     
  Bob Hamilton   Sunday morning Chef Larry Gruhn  
   
Jan Bennett & Willa Hamilton       Jan, Willa & Marsha
     
  Jo Seale   Ray Seale & Marsha Gruhn  
   
Willa & Bob Hamilton            Jo Seale   Willa & Bob Hamilton   Willa Hamilton, Jo Seale      Jan Bennett, Ray Seale
     
  Jan's sister Judy and their Dad Herb in the foreground   Piss tube  
         

San Antonio  June 23-26, 2005

 

There is only one response for the San Antonio reunion...WOW!  Please don't take our word for it, just ask any one of the men who attended the dinner at Major (Ret. Col. now) David and Mrs. Jane Jayne's house.   (see photo below)  Most of the wives tagged along, so we had a pretty large dinner party, and lots of good food and fun.  WE MISSED YOU!

   

(click on photos to enlarge)

ABE STICE

 

AL BENNETT

BILL MEELER

BOB BROWNE

       

BOB ELLIOTT

BOB HICKEY

BRITT KNOX

DALE GARBER

       
**See Footnote at bottom of San Antonio reunion.
DAVE SULLIVAN DAVID JAYNE GENE WHITT GEORGE DeSERRES
       
GLEN SCHNEIDER JERRY ADCOCK JERRY COLDREN JIM WATKINS
       
KEN HAYWOOD LARRY GRUHN MIKE SKYER OSCAR FLORES
       
PERRY APKING RAY SEALE RON COLEMAN RON FIMAN

BILL KAYFUS

SKIP WHITEHILL

TOM BATHEY

 

 

 

 

 

OUR DINNER PARTY

     
    (click photos to enlarge)    

   
Al Bennett - Joanie

Joanie deserves a big round of applause, as does her husband Mark, who took most of the dinner party pix you are going to be seeing,   They gave freely of their time and talents to help David and Jane put this party together for our troops.  

Notice the catered
food?

Notice the fresh flowers?  Every table had them.

Way to go Joanie!  That's some Margarita you've got there.

 

 

 

Notice the big fan - there was even a mister above our heads, intertwined with lights which kept us cool and kept the bugs away

   
  What we are trying to say is that the Jaynes', their families and their friends went to a lot of trouble to make us feel welcome.  We can't thank them enough.

THANK YOU AND WE LOVE YOU!  
         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

   

 

   
   

PRESENTATION TO DAVID

 

 

This plaque was made of melted down Huey parts, proceeds to fund The National Vietnam War Museum which is being built at 12685 Mineral Wells Rd, Mineral Wells, TX and is currently under construction.  Please contact Bob Taylor, VHPA for further info.

 

SPECIAL THANKS .....

go to the following people for enriching this special evening. 

Naturally, to David and Jane, Mark and Joanie.

To Dale Garber for the purchase and donation of the portable combination 5 CD and home stereo for 117th AHC use.

To Britt Knox for the wonderful job he did as our program director, and for the CD of Vietnam songs which he created, sang and shared and played for everyone's enjoyment.

To Abe Stice for the update on the VA claim information.

To Wendell Brooks for the license plate holders.

To Ken Haywood for the painting which he painted and donated for our drawing.

This evening was enchanted.  It turned out so well, that it will be very hard to create something this wonderful again.

And there is one more 'Thank You' that I would like to publicly acknowledge, although it is unrelated to the dinner.  I would like to thank Jerry Coldren for escorting Jan to downtown San Antonio so she was not alone while I manned the hospitality room.  I appreciate him making sure she did not 'trip over any stones', although I understand that she likes to play in the traffic when taking pictures, Jerry?

 

Ron Fiman

8th Trans Jacket  

CE wings

courtesy Ron Fiman

Jerry Coldren

140th Jacket

   

 

 

HOSPITALITY ROOM

   

 

 

Al - Bob Elliott - Jan   Perry Apking - Al  

Back row L-R George DeSerres

        Britt Knox, Dale Garber, Jim Watkins, Bill Meeler, Dave Sullivan. Seated in front, L-R
        Tom Bathey, Al Bennett
  Coleman - Meeler   Dave & Yolanda  
     
         
   
         
Ron Fiman - George DeSerres   Ron Fiman - Oscar Flores - George DeSerres    
         
   
Front L-R Lila Apking and Margie Elliott   Jerry Adcock - Gene Whitt   Jerry Coldren on right
Back L-R Lenore Flores and Maxine Fiman        
         
  VHCMA 

2005

DINNER  
   
     
         
   
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

   
         

** If anyone is interested in returning to Vietnam for a visit, at a reasonable price, please contact George DeSerres at (800) 248-1590 or email him at gdeserres@aol.com

See you in Phoenix next year!

******************************************

MARCH 11, 2005 - MINI - 117TH REUNION

We were in Orlando, Florida for a few days and were able to have a mini-reunion with
some of the guys and wives from that area.
We greatly appreciate our longtime friends, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Barton, and wish to thank them
for graciously extending their home for this
meeting.

Six of us attended and had a good time. If you ever get a chance to attend a reunion
or even a mini-reunion you should. This was the first time two of the guys had
done anything like this and all I heard from them at the end of the evening was
"This was great!" and "We need to get together again!"


The one thing I must say about reunions:
If you have never been please attend.
You don't have to say much, just listen for a while. You'll soon be jumping in
the same as we all were Friday night.
Believe me, Vietnam was not the only topic; we talked of our families, our
jobs, our lives and what we have done.
Maybe we were not in Nam at the same time or did the same jobs, but we were
every one of us there and had many of the same experiences. We went to
Vietnam and we were in helicopters.


Those who attended the Orlando Mini were:

Wendell Brooks 66-67

Tom Bynum 67-68

Tom Rose 63-64

Leon Wozniak 67-68

Bob Hamilton 70-71

Al Bennett 67-68

 

It took all of us to make up a company.
None of us could have done our jobs
without the other.

 

2004

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hope to see you at San Antonio in June 23-26, 2005!

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Indianapolis 117th/VHCMA 2004 Reunion

I would like to thank all the guys that attended the reunion and the wives who accompanied them. I hope everyone had a good time. I have to apologize for not being able to spend more time with each of you. The best part for me is meeting up with the four other guys who served with me in 67.  Lendall Barnes, Jim Grissom, Jeff Murawski and Larry Gruhn thanks guys you made my weekend.

Others who attended were: Ray Seale, Ken Haywood, Bob Hamilton and Tom Joyner.

I had a couple of friends join us at our hospitality room. They are the Aretz brothers Jim and Tom both are Vietnam Vets and served as crew chiefs. Jim was with the 334th Armed Helicopter Co and was across the flight line from us(117th) while we were at Bien Hoa 1968. Tom was with the 116th AHC. 1969. They have a story to tell that in 69 Jim was back in RVN as a Tech Rep. and flew with Tom on a so called milk run. Ended up getting shot down, what a story.

D Company Rangers (LRRP) 151st Infantry ( Indiana Army National Guard )was supported by the 1st Platoon while they were in RVN. Several of them stopped by to visit and thank us for being there for them. D Co. was featured on the CBS program Sunday Morning.  Thank you  Zita Moore  for helping to put this reunion together. Also for getting Josh Aaron to paint the Annie Fannie on the Avionics Nose door  and bringing it by for us to drool over. She never looked better. I hope to be at the D Co. reunion next year to see Annie fly again . I also hope some of you from the Annie Gang can make that reunion. Also while we were  with the guys from D Co. there was a TV News report that featured some of them from an earlier interview the afternoon. It was neat to be able to share with them while they watched the broadcast.

One of the nice things about having the reunion with the VHCMA is you get to run into guys that served in sister companies or went through AIT  with you. The next thing is to say thanks to the VHCMA for providing us with a Hospitality Room this was the fourth year that they have helped us out.  They do a great job putting the Reunion together each year. THANKS.

 See you in San Antonio!

 

INDIANAPOLIS 2004

    Front Row L-R. Tom Joyner, Larry Gruhn, Ken Haywood, Jeff Murawski

Back Row L-R Al Bennett, Jim Grissom, Lendall Barnes, Ray Seale

 

 

Patty and Lendall Barnes  w/ Jeff and Barbara Murawski

 

 

 

 

Bob and Willa Hamilton

 

Jeff and Barbara Murawski

 

Patty and Lendall Barnes

 

Judy and Tom Joyner

 

Ken Haywood

 

 
Jim Grissom

 

Larry Gruhn and Ray Seale

 

Jeff, Barbara, Chris White and Jan 

 

  Al Bennett

 

 

      Chuck Wallace with a shirt his daughter made.

 

 
Al presenting the guys from D Co 117th Warlord Patches

 

    Josh Aaron painted this Avionics door for Zita Moore and the D Co. guys.

 

Josh and Zita Moore

 

 

   
    Ken, Josh and Tom

 

  Larry Rhoades of D Co. and   Ken Haywood 117th

 

   
  Tom and Jim Aretz          

 

 

Steve Mandel

Steve was with the 92nd AHC that replaced the 117th at Dong Ba Thin

Chris White

VHCMA President

2004-2005

 

 

REPORT FROM DALLAS - VHPA 2004 REUNION

                                                                                                                                   by Bob Elliott

GREETINGS TO ALL FORMER 8TH TRANS/117TH AVN/117TH AHC, GRETNA GREEN, TAYLOR MADE, BEACHBUM, WARLORD, SIDEWINDERS AND ASSOCIATED MEDICAL AND MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL. WE HAD A GREAT VHPA MINI-REUNION IN DALLAS. I HAVE BEEN TO SEVERAL VHPA REUNIONS AND THIS ONE WAS THE BEST ATTENDED 117TH MINI-REUNION I HAVE SEEN.  THERE WAS AT LEAST 30 FORMER 117TH MEMBERS REGISTERED AT THE VHPA REUNION, AND WE HAD 19 PRESENT AT THE 117TH MINI-REUNION ON FRIDAY, JULY 2ND. THE FOLLOWING PERSONNEL SIGNED IN AT OUR MINI-REUNION.

NAME YR/YRS. IN VIETNAM CLASS NUMBER

WILSON GREEN '64 63-7
HERMAN BROWN '64-65 64-2W
PETER LAGERGREN '66-67 66-13
JAMES INGERSOLL '71-72 70-49/71-1
BOB SHOEN '70-71 70-3/70-5
RICK COUCH '70-71 70-6
RAY GARRISON '68-70 68-17
CARL NORRIS '69-70 69-14
FRANK THOMPSON '63,67-68 62-2W
PAT W. JONES '65-66 63-4WT
EUGENE WHITT '68-69 68-15
ROGER L. CLENNEY '67-68 67-17
BARRY McHENRY '64-65 64-2W
CLIFFORD ADKINS '64-65 64-4W
GEORGE PEACON '64-65 64-2W
JOHN T. MYERS '65-66 65-1W
HOYE TIBBETS '65 65-1W
ROBERT W. ELLIOTT '62-63,'67-68 67-17

AND LAST BUT SURELY NOT LEAST, DANA PELLMAN '62-63 61-5.   DANA WAS WITH THE 8TH TRANS, AND ACTUALLY CAME OVER ON THE BOAT WITH THE FIRST HELICOPTERS, H-21'S, LANDING AT THE PORT OF SAIGON ON 11 DEC.'62.

AT THE VHPA REUNION BUT UNABLE TO ATTEND OUR MINI-REUNION WERE THE FOLLOWING.

TOM DEASON '64-65 63-1
RANDY BECHTEL '69-70 69-3
DALE GARBER '67-68 67-3
CLIFTON L. MALM '67-68 67-3
JAMES C. WATKINS '67-68, 71 67-11
ABE STICE '63-64, 67 63-1T
JACK LEASE '65-66, 69-70 69-7
RONALD WARNER '72 71-3/70-49JAMES WATSON '71-72 67-503/67-23
PAUL KOPRIVA '66-67, 70 66-15
GERALD (JERRY) JOHNSON '66-67, 70 66-6

FOR YOU LATER GUYS, 68-72, THE "D" CO 151ST LRRP, 75 INF, HAD TWO GUYS COME OVER TO GREET THE ANNIE FANNIES AND TO PASS ON THEIR AFFECTION, GRATITUDE AND RESPECT FOR "A JOB WELL DONE" AND TO LET US KNOW THAT WE WOULD ALWAYS BE IN THEIR HEARTS AND PRAYERS. PERSONALLY, BEING AROUND THOSE "LURPS" IS THE CLOSEST I WILL EVER FEEL TO BEING A SAINT, GOD, IDOL. THEY REALLY LOVE THE HELICOPTER PILOTS THAT PULLED THEM FROM MANY A HAIRY SITUATION.
WHEN YOUR AROUND THOSE GUYS, IT MAKES ALL WE WENT THROUGH,.......WORTHWHILE. THE NEXT VHPA REUNION WILL BE IN SAN FRANCISCO, THEN WASHINGTON D.C., FOLLOWED BY PHILADELPHIA, PHOENIX, SAN ANTONIO AND SAN DIEGO.

AS WE ALL GET OLDER I ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU TO TRY TO ATTEND ONE OR MORE OF THE REUNIONS. GET TOGETHER WITH OLD CLASSMATES, STICKMATES, ETC. IF THE REST OF THE REUNIONS ARE ANYTHING LIKE THIS LAST ONE YOU WON'T REGRET IT. I HOPE THE REST OF THE YEAR FINDS YOU AND YOURS IN GOOD HEALTH, HAVING PROSPERITY, AND ALWAYS WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. MAY YOU HAVE A BLESSED LIFE.

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR 8TH TRANS/117TH AVN/117TH AHC CONTACTS SO IT CAN GET THE WIDEST DISSEMINATION POSSIBLE. LET THEM ALL SEE WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN MISSING, AND ALL THE BUDDIES THEY DIDN'T GET TO SEE THIS TIME. THE MORE PEOPLE WE CONTACT AND MAKE AWARE OF THESE EVENTS, THE MORE WILL WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FUTURE. AGAIN, HAVE A BLESSED YEAR. ROBERT ELLIOTT, BEACHBUM/WARLORD 17

 

2003

ATLANTA VHCMA 2003

Al Bennett & Chet Fromm Al & Jan Bennett William Harley Chet Fromm Chet & Peggy Fromm
Bill-Ray Seale-Al Dave & Wanda Loftin Britt Knox Joe McGovern Joe-Dave-Al-Britt
Jo Seale-Tom & Judy Joiner-Al & Jan Bennett Judy & Tom   Britt-Larry Gruhn-Al-Ray Ray-Al-Chet
Ray-Jo-Bill-Al Tom & Judy Bill-Jan-Ray-Jo Wanda& Dave-Joe-Britt Bill Harley
     
    The Dinner Group   Jo & Ray while on their AAHF Huey Ride
  Some Other VHCMA Photos    
       
    POW MIA Missing Man  Table    
Karen & John Hubbs Emil & Carin Harris Alan Rhoades & Joann & Charlie Rains Jim Westwang of the 129th friend of Mike Noziska of the 117th  

 

 

2002

 

 DALLAS  2002

The Friday evening social at the lounge was a good welcome home.   Saturday was spent catching up on our past and what we are doing now.

Lunch was at the Bass-Pro Restaurant sampling  their Buffalo sandwiches and the many brews from the micro-brewery.

Most of the guys have said that they are planning on attending the Atlanta, Ga. reunion next June 20-22.  This reunion will be held in conjunction with the VHCMA annual reunion which actually starts on Wednesday, June 18 and runs through Sunday, June 22.  I know some of us, like myself, are planning to be there for at least a part of the Crew Members Reunion as well.

It was really good to see some of the guys from my past and to meet those I have only corresponded with.

If you have never been to a reunion please think about attending, I'm sure you would enjoy it.  We had a total of    12 Beachbums and Warlords report in.

 

                                                                  (CLICK ON PICTURES TO ENLARGE)

                               PICTURES CONTRIBUTED BY JIM WATKINS
L-R GARRISON-SALITORE-BENNETT-ADCOCK GREG PETERS KEN HAYWOOD L-R RAY GARRISON     FRED SALITORE AL BENNETT
         
JERRY ADCOCK L-R BENNETT-SALITORE-ADCOCK-WATKINS ALL FROM 1967, NOT PICTURED IS BROOKS FROM THE SAME TIME PERIOD L-R GARRISON-ADCOCK-HAYWOOD L-R ALLANACH-KERBOW-COUCH L-R RICK COUCH  WENDELL BROOKS
         
 JERRY ADCOCK GREG PETERS RAY GARRISON L-R  COUCH - BROOKS KEN HAYWOOD
         
BILL ALLANACH AL BENNETT DAVE KERBOW L-R KERBOW - COUCH GROUP PICTURE

MISSING FRED SALITORE & EUGENE WHITT

         
L-R BENNETT - PETERS L-R PETERS - WATKINS L-R PETERS - BENNETT L-R BENNETT-PETERS-HAYWOOD L-R GENE WHITT -HAYWOOD
         
     
  DALLAS GANG   WATKINS HOBBY@SUNSET  

 

 

                                             PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY AL BENNETT
L-JIM WATKINS  FLAG HAT-KEN HAYWOOD-BARBARA HAYWOOD HIDDEN BEHIND KEN GLASSES-FRED SALITORE

 

L-DAVE KERBOW,     RICK COUCH,    WENDELL BROOKS     JIM WATKINS           GREG PETERS JIM WATKINS  GREG PETERS   GREG PETERS  KEN HAYWOOD JIM WATKINS EUGENE WHITT
         
         

 

                     PHOENIX 2002

                    

The Phoenix reunion was HOT, HOT HOT!!!!  We had earlier been in Vegas to see Al's brother who lives there, so by comparison, 105-110 degrees in Phoenix was still cool weather!  I'm sure glad I live in South Georgia.  Al said he would never complain again about having to work outdoors in our weather.

It was great to see some of the 117th faces again, Bob Hamilton, Jerry Ellis, Oscar Flores and meet a couple of new ones.  We were very glad to see Bob 'Pete' Peterson at his first reunion with us.  Dave Holden of the 140th was in the area and was able to pop in for a few minutes.  It was great meeting both you guys and hope to see you again soon.  My only regret was that I did not have a camera on my person when I met Dave. 

I was only able to get a few photos, as our camera acted up on this trip...sorry guys.

 

 

L to R  Al Bennett, 'Pete' Peterson, Bob Hamilton

 
 

 

 

 

 

Oscar Flores, VP of AHCVA, seated in center. Jerry Ellis seated on right.

 
       
               Jerry Ellis   Jerry Ellis on(L) Oscar Flores on (R)
 

 

 

MELBOURNE 2002

117TH AHC AND DETACHMENTS MINI REUNION

 

Flags are hoisted by crane near bandstand. Pavehawk Garry Pribble near UH1N  Huey Garry and Janice Pribble Garry Pribble, Tom Bathey, Al Bennett

Just a little commentary about the 2002 Melbourne reunion ....  I found it extremely ironic to learn that Garry Pribble and Tom Bathey were living in Ft. Myers, FL while Al Bennett was living in Naples.  None of them realized it at the time.  Another ironic fact is that Garry Pribble's father-in-law was actually Al Bennett's supervisor at work!  Small world....We also learned that Garry's wife, Janice,  is friends with someone who has been our friend for nearly 10 years! The world IS getting smaller! 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

namvet42@hotmail.com
(PLEASE PUT 117TH AHC IN THE SUBJECT LINE)