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                                                                                                                             Photo courtesy Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The next reunion of the 161st Aviation Company and its support units will take place in Phoenix, Arizona, June 24, 2006.  

Again, I will be hosting our reunion in conjunction with the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Member Association (VHCMA), whose reunion dates are June 21-25th, because of the tremendous logistic support this group provides for unit reunions. The VHCMA is primarily an organization of former enlisted personnel, but a number of former officers and warrants have chosen to join this group.  In short, everyone will be welcomed in that we all served with honor in the helicopter war. 

I need to thank all of you who both wrote, sent pictures and those of you who called me. I was truly heart warmed with all of the glowing comments and words of appreciation, and is greatly appreciated.  Remember that the reunions are for everyone and when more people can participate it only helps to make it that much more enjoyable.

Our membership includes anyone who served in the 161st AHC and the 406th TC: pilots, aircrew, maintenance, operations, clerks, cooks ... everyone ... two-year draftees, three-year volunteers, professional soldiers.

We shared common experiences during the war and while the debate of that war will continue beyond our lives, let us remember our common bond. The reunions serve to bring us together again in friendship and the spirit in which we served. By and large, people who have made it to past reunions, tell me that reunions are quite rewarding and worth the trip.  

It will be such a pleasure to meet you again and renew friendships that had long since faded.

I was not sure I was going to be able to make the trip this year, but as of now, I plan to see you in Phoenix. 

Where:            Phoenix, Arizona

LZ:                   Phoenix Airport Marriott
                     (Sky Harbor Airport)
                        1101 North 44th Street
                        Phoenix, Arizona  85008

It is not necessary to pre-register, but upon arrival, you will need to register with the VHCMA reunion.  Portions of this fee will provide liquid refreshments during your visit. Also, there will be some off-premises activities you might find interesting.

What to Bring:  A willingness to have a good time and let you inhibitions down.   There will be none of that Enlisted and Officer thing… that’s all behind us and all are treated equally.

Any pictures, memorabilia, stories to share with others.

The 161st Guidon has been located and will be on display.

A genuine Huey tail rotor assembly to be autographed by everyone from the 161st AHC.

Just being together, in the company of brave men, is a special experience, which is why the Reunion has become the priority trip next summer for many of us.  If you have not had the experience, make 2005 the summer to attend; you won’t be sorry.

VHCMA Internet website at:     www.vhcma.org         VHCMA Registration Form  

VHPA Internet website at:        www.vhpa.org


John H. Hastings (817) 923-2561 at home or (817) 252-8269 at work.
email: john.hastings@sbcglobal.net   or  jhhastings@pier1.com

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