Vietnam helicopter pilots reunite in Louisville

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WHAS11.com

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 2 at 11:07 AM

  • Wednesday, July 2, 7:00 PM: First Time Attendee Reception, Galt Hotel: Almost 40 years after the end of America’s participation in the Vietnam War, many Vietnam War veterans are still reluctant to participate in veteran events due to their poor reception in the United States after completing a combat tour in Vietnam. The VHPA strives to welcome the reluctant helicopter pilot/warriors “home” and encourages their participation; the First Time Attendee Reception is often the first time these attendees gather and speak with fellow pilots of the conflict.

 

  • Thursday, July 3, 7:30 – 9:00 AM: KIA/MIA Gold Star Breakfast, Galt Hotel: A poignant event, the families of those killed in action gather to share their experience, seek information about the loss of their loved one, meet veterans who served with their lost father, son, uncle or nephew, and interact with others who share a common bond of loss. This is a relatively new event that grows in size and importance at each annual reunion.

 

  • Thursday, July 3, 9:00 AM: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall ribbon cutting ceremony, Waterfront Park. A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will be displayed and open to the public through July 5 at Waterfront Park. A ribbon cutting ceremony with community veterans and VHPA members will begin a weekend of activities along the Ohio River. In addition to the Memorial Wall, privately restored combat helicopters from the Vietnam War will be on public display.

 

  • Friday, July 4, 3:15 – 6:00 PM: Helicopter Combat Assault Reenactment, Waterfront Park: Restored UH-1 “Hueys” and a scout helicopter will stage a simulated “hot landing zone” reenactment. Depicting soldiers from the Vietnam War, uniformed infantry reenactors will demonstrate how U.S. soldiers flew into combat from 1963 to 1973.

 

  • Saturday, July 5, 5:45 – 10:30 PM: Closing Banquet and Dance, Galt House. Vietnam veterans and their families will gather for a formal banquet honoring the memories of those lost, and celebrating the continued camaraderie of their brotherhood of service. A Highlight is the toast to the missing aviator honored with an illuminated, but empty table, set in his honor. 

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