Sunday, September 23, 2012

a little feed back

I posted a notice about the dawg blog on the USMC Pop-a-Smoke page.
I got a response from a former H-34 crew chief:

Fred Williams "Looking GOOD! I know I've said it on POPASMOKE before, but there is just something about the 34 that just makes you feel an allegiance to it. Kind of like an old sweetheart you never got over. Most of all if you were a Crew Chief. "
I can honestly add to this, " if you were a pilot."
for anybody who wishes to see more about the H-34 in Viet Nam, and the entire history of Marine Corps rotary aviation, see:
Thousands of pictures at this site, free to the public.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Charlie goes to the Standown

June 16th, 2012  the Vietnam Vets of America chapter 890 of Sandpoint, Idaho hosted a Standown at the Bonner County Fairgrounds.  The  V V A, Allen Hacker President,  was assisted by Detachment  #1110 of the Marine Corps League, who provided almost 800 meals to the 1200 veterans who attended the Standown.

We received several truck loads of surplus military gear from the government, and spent two days placing all the materials on tables for the veterans to "shop."  All this was provided free by the VVA and the MCL. Many thanks to the many men and women who worked hard to put all this together.

                                Charlie was towed to the function by John Pugh. 
                           Here they are departing the north gate from Sandpoint airport:

Charlie has been provided a home at the Hangar of A-1 Sandpoint Helicopters for several months,
including all the cold winter months.  Thank you Ken D'Atillio and sons.
It was so much easier to work on her inside, away from the cold.

Here is our FAV old H-34, all decked out in her
finest marine Corps green, with caution tape de-
marking her blade tips, just in case some vet driving
a motor home may not see those blade tips.

We borrowed a little Huey technology here in that we drilled small holes in the top of each blade tip in order to insert the "S" hook ends of the motorcycle tie-downs.  That is much easier than the old cloth pockets we used to use in the military.  It makes one wonder what kind of whis-whis-whistling sounds those holes would make were we to fly these blades.  The sounds like bullet holes in the blades used to make...perhaps....?
This was an easy tow, as it is only about half a mile from her
home at the airport to the fairgrounds parking lot.

John Pugh attaching the two higher tail rotor blades before we unlocked the tail and unfolded it.  We take the two higher blades off so as to not catch any power lines while in transit. 
Can you imagine what a high tension power line might do to our magnesium helicopter?

Here are some pictures of the long line 1200 of vets waiting to enter the mail pavillion:

                                         can you see Charlie WAAAY at the bend of the line?
We were blessed with nice weather.

MCL member Dr. Ken Conger added a display of a Viet Nam Marine in full battle array with all equipment
complete with M-16 rifle.  Ken is quite a military historian and collector of military artifacts. 
His interest was heightened when he learned all about his father-in-law's service in the
Pacific with the Marine Corps in WW2.

 Here are Present Commandant Robert Rutherford (right) conferring with immediate past Commandant Everett Wood about how much salt peter to put in the BBQ beef sandwitches for the vets.

Bill Stevens (Founding Commandant of Det. #1110) with back to camera, his wife Jerri opposite him next to Dick Williams.  Ev Wood to the far left with Bob Rutherford.
(unknown woman at far right)
preparing the 800 meals we served to veterans that day.

We served BBQ beef on a sesame seed bun, potato salad, baked beans,
and a bottle of water to each vet at no cost to him or her.

above, More of the MCL "cookie" crew. Tim Hogan, Dennis Minnick, Ken Conger.
Before  the Standown was over, John Pugh had to leave, so Dennis Minnick volunteered to tow Charlie back to her home at SZT.  he did a superb job of delivering her safely.

Many kudos to all the fellows who helped make the standown the best one yet.
Allen Hacker, President of V V A chapter 890, and ALL of the troops who helped put this together,
 are to be commended for a great Standown.

Charlie all tucked in and safe at home after a hard days work at the Standown.

Actually, we found out about this time that the A-1 folks want us to remove Charlie from their premises. 
 A quest began to find Charlie a new home!

stay tuned...

in the meantime, if anybody would like to donate a few dollars to the cause,
please feel free to send a check, money order, or nasty old cash even to:

Bill Collier
402 Sandpoint Ave, no. 224
Sandpoint, ID  83864

put on the check:  for Charlie/V V A
to make this contribution tax deductible
thank you

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Better pictures of Ben Stein with trophy

Ben Stein holding the trophy given to him by Sandpoint veterans
in appreciation for his on-going support of veterans in Bonner County.

the trophy up close
note the shape of the granite base is laser cut to look like the USA.

An up-close of his end table in his living room.
When he said we could come back to take more pictures for the blog, he was very gracious
 to let us do a re-shoot as the earlier pics were poor.
When I finished taking the pictures, I said:  "You are going to be famous!"

OOPS!  a repeat.
worth repeating.