We participated in Memorial Day activities at Fort Collins at Veterans Plaza's 3 day event. The focus of this year's event was the 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War. The "Traveling Wall" was on display as well as our Vietnam Helicopter War Museum and Bill McPherson's "Mike" Model gun ship, Ken Overturf and their crew. The Vietnam veterans were recognized in several pinning ceremonies in conjunction with the 50th Commemoration during this event. Docents for the museum were Terry Olson, John Mitchell, Stan Cass, Carl and Barbara Cavaluzzi, Dale and Candy House, Bill Bates, Rick Beaver, Doug Neil, Walt Wise, Bill Robie, and Greg Mann and his girlfriend Debra, who helped out with the T-shirt displays. Phil Lanphier, who was sick stayed only a few minutes before we sent him home.
Several of the members participated in the reading of the Wall names. Reading of the names is a very solemn and poignant event. The U.S. military involvement in Vietnam resulted in 58,283 Vietnam War casualties, according to the U.S. national Archives. We read the names aloud in order to remember and pay homage to the men and women who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
The weather was cool with intermittent light rain Friday and Saturday but visitors still lined up and braved the sprinkles waiting to enter. We had to meter the line to keep the crowds inside the museum to a manageable level. There were many people in line waiting to enter and their patience was to be admired. Several docents alternated keeping the line under control and speaking to the guest about what they would see when they entered the museum.
It was a great event and we all had a lot of fun showing off our museum. It is wonderful that the membership can get together, interact with the public sharing our story, and share the comradery between our members.
December 4, 2016, several members of our chapter were guests of the VFW Post 1, Founders Day Banquet honoring the Veterans of Vietnam. It was held at the renowned Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. Special guest that evening was Ann-Margret and her husband Roger Smith. Some of you may have seen her while "in-country". Two of our members reuited with her that evening who had the pleasure of either flying her or meeting her at one of her performances at one of the many USO shows that toured Vietnam during those years. Stanley Cass and Terry Olson among the. I thanked Ann Margret for the many years of support of our Veterans and she said, "Why of course, You're all my boys". The banquet key note speaker was Secretary Jim Nicholson, the 5th Secretary of Veterans Affairs and a Vietnam Veteran.
VFW Post 1, Founders Day Banquet
As part of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, Congressman Ed Perlmutter,
of the 7th Congressional District, in partnership with the Commemorative Partner Program as authorized by President Obama, is thanking over 600 local Vietnam Veterans in ceremonies over the next 5 months on behalf of a "Grateful Nation".
This first ceremony was held at Red Rocks Community College on March 24, 2017. Congressman Perlmutter's office is arranging for 6 more ceremonies to honor an additional 500 Veterans who answered the request to attend an award ceremony. Among the Veterans that attended the March 24, 2017 ceremony were Bill Bates,
Rick Beaver, Carl Cavaluzzi, Dale House and Bill Robie, all members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. The Members
received a distinctive commemorative lapel pin and a certificate signed by
Governor John E. Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado.
This program is a national outreach to Honor the estimated 7 million veterans that
served during the Vietnam War. Our parent organization, The VHPA, is Partnered
with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration to help locate and Honor every Vietnam Veteran who served on active duty during the period
November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.
FORT COLLINS MEMORIAL DAY
Helicopter War Museum
Vietnam War 50th Commemoration Ceremony