USAF Helicopter Pilot Association

Reunion 2008

MAY 11-14, 2008


Chairman - John Elliff
1st Vice - Pepper Marcum
2nd Vice - Joe Green
Secretary - Larry Burke
Treasurer - Bob Strout

Others to be recognized as part of the team:

Special Communications - Bill Waters
Webmaster - Don Damoth
Historian - KV Hall


Fiesta San Antonio is now history. I want to personally thank all the people that helped so much to make the event a success. All committee members and wives worked diligently to help make the event memorable. Also, many other members and their wives who live here in the San Antonio area pitched in to make it a true team effort. For everyone involved, please accept my heartfelt thanks for a job well done.

I want to personally thank the entire membership for their contributions to the Center for the Intrepid. We were able to forward $1257 to the organization now supporting the military personnel undergoing treatment at that fantastic facility. Thank you, thank you!!! I can assure you these contributions are for a most worthwhile cause. For those who would like to make a contribution, the name of the organization has changed but the contributions go to the same worthwhile cause. Send any contributions to: Warrior Family Support Center, Army Community Service, 2010 Stanley Rd., Ste 95, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, attn: Judith Markelz. Include a note stating it is for the Center for the Intrepid and you can let them know you are with the USAF Helicopter Pilot Assn. if you so wish.

Our members in Colorado Springs are already at work making plans to host our next reunion in 2009. I hope to be able to see each and everyone there and get to visit a lot more this next time. I ask only that you please take good care of yourselves. All of you are valuable to the continued success of this organization. What a blessing it is to have the opportunity to gather as we do; to enjoy the fellowship of old comrades and the chance to meet new ones. Vaya con Dios!



FIESTA SAN ANTONIO 2008, USAFHPA Reunion #14, was a roaring success, thanks to those attending and the super efforts of the organization. 365 members and guests (182 pilot members) enjoyed the friendship and fellowship we have come to continually enjoy at these events.

Registration began early afternoon on Sunday, May 11th. The hospitality room was the popular spot of the day as we said hello again to those we may not have seen since Orlando, or maybe even Reno, Ogden, or earlier.

Registration continued on Monday as those already here checked out the sights and sounds of downtown San Antonio and our world famous Riverwalk.

That evening 314 of us proceeded (most by bus) to Rio Cibolo Ranch to enjoy a little bit of Texas as we savored the finger licking good sausage, chicken, and brisket with all the old western trimmings. For entertainment we enjoyed a performance by the Fire On The Mountain Cloggers and western music by Rob Carter. (Who also provided the music for the reunion 20 years ago)

On Tuesday morning the membership gathered for the business meeting. After usual formalities, Lt Col Kyle “Keys” Taylor, Commander of the 23rd Flying Training Squadron at Fort Rucker, with assistance of Lt Dan Coughlin, gave a presentation on today’s USAF Helicopter Pilot Training Program. Things have changed since those days at Stead!

Final business item of the day was site selection for the follow on reunion. Presentations were made for Colorado Springs (Jerry Davenport) and Jackson Hole (Ron Allred). After discussion and vote, Colorado Springs was selected as the location for the next reunion in the fall of 2009.

Tuesday afternoon was golf time as 32 of USAFHPA’s finest faced the challenge of the Salado Course at Fort Sam Houston.

On Tuesday evening we enjoyed the home grown musical talent of Jim Carroll, Lou Anatrella, “Wild” Bill and Stephanie Lyell, and George Kekuna, along with the dancing performance of Shirley Elliff and Susie Marcum as they entertained for all in the hospitality room. Thanks guys and gals!

Wednesday was a mostly open day for last minute sightseeing. Classic Reunions began the memory book photo shoot at 3:00 PM. Banquet dinner was preceded by the usual cocktail hour.

Colors were posted promptly at 7:00 PM by Air Force ROTC Cadets from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dinner and dancing music was provided by Rob Carter. And a good time was has by all!

Thursday morning it was time for a final cup of coffee and donut in the hospitality room as we said goodbye and the crew cleaned up for the move out. Farewell to all - and on to Colorado Springs!

Challenge Coin

All pilot members attending this reunion received the new USAFHPA Challenge Coin in their registration packet - compliments of the Association. (History of the Challenge Coin)

Since the reunion, Coins have been mailed to all members not in attendance whose dues are in a current status - paid through 2008. Association thanks go out to John Flournoy who designed this beautiful Challenge Coin and assisted with the order from the manufacturer.



As I stated at the Business Meeting, the organization is solvent.

When all of the reunion expenses have been paid, it appears that the event will be several hundreds of dollars in the black.

Memory Books can still be purchased from the organization. The photo proofs have been sent out from Classic Reunion. If you don’t want the professional photo, but would still like a book, send your $20 per book to me and I’ll get your name on the list. My thoughts are mid July will be the cut off date for ordering a book.

New Rosters are being mailed to all who did not attend the reunion. Check your dues expiration date and act to keep your membership current.

My thanks to everyone, it was a great reunion!



It was a great reunion, thanks go to the Committee and the rest of those who helped make it so. In accordance with the vote of the members, I have changed the Membership Page and the online application form to indicate that recent graduates of Air Force helicopter training are eligible for a free membership in the Association. They are able to register online for the free membership. Let’s hope that a lot of them take advantage of this opportunity.


There appeared to be a lot of interest at our “History Corner”.  It seems there was always someone looking at the pictures, reading stories, etc.  It gives those of us that have worked on the History great satisfaction to see folks enjoying our efforts. 

Thanks to all that have contributed and hopefully more that will send us stuff in the future.  I guarantee that I will have a voice recorder to capture all the discussions at the next reunion.


The Colorado Springs crew has started initial planning for our 2009 reunion. Several of us here in the area have met and have outlined our strategy for a GREAT reunion. We are targeting September 2009 but have not yet picked a specific date. We are looking into planing our reunion during a week when the USAF Academy has a home football game and will give our attending members an option to attend the game. We have begun researching hotels that can support our event and are also discussing what events and attractions we may want to offer in our agenda. We do plan to have a golf event out at the Academy. One facet of our planning is to not generate a schedule that is too full.

Another facet is to ensure we include events for our ladies. We are researching the possibilities of getting aircraft displays possibly from the 58th SOW at Kirtland AFB. Bottom line is we have a good crew here that have some experience with reunions and are confident we will have a good program in a good venue for the benefit of all our members. If anyone has questions, suggestions, or comments, e-mail me at or call me at (719) 488-1962.


More reunion pictures

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