The effort to place the Vietnam Helicopter
Pilot and Crewmember Memorial within Arlington National Cemetery (ANC)
is accelerating and needs your help. Please support the Vietnam
Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) Legacy Committee and other
volunteers who will walk the halls of Congress November 29-30 to
encourage representatives and senators to support the Vietnam Helicopter
Crew Memorial Act (H.R.4298 and S.3447). The list of those cosponsoring
H.R. 4298 grew dramatically during the month of September and currently
stands at 70 (October 30, 2016) but it needs far more support to be
This groundswell of support is the direct
result of VHPA members reaching their representatives, a formal hearing
before the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee on
September 8, and a dramatic article written by Time Magazine reporter
Senate companion bill S. 3447, introduced by
Senator Dan Sullivan (AK) and cosponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI),
is a strategic victory.
Many bills are introduced into the House, but
if a Senate bill matching the language and intent does not emerge, the
house bill goes no further even if passed by a house vote. The senate
companion bill added vital energy to this important legislation. Without
doubt, this action has ANC management concerned that the memorial will
find a place in the cemetery despite their priority to deny any further
memorials within the cemetery grounds.
How you can help:
Contact your legislator and both senators and
tell them why they should support the legislation. Start with a
telephone call to the Washington, DC offices (easily found with a quick
Two links for finding your legislators:
Speak with the individual who deals with
veteran issues, get their specific email address and explain why they
should support the bill.
(Note: if you are sent to voicemail, don’t
wait for a return call, but rather call again the next day. Repeat calls
from constituents get attention). Advise them Vietnam Veteran helicopter
pilots and Gold Star Families support this cause, and they should too.
Share the story of the memorial project and
encourage your friends and neighbors to participate. The more
constituents who contact their representatives, the better.
Finally, consider joining in the effort! If
you can travel to Washington, DC and participate, excellent! The Legacy
Committee will provide you with informational folders and a briefing on
what to say.
Although we cannot reimburse your expenses,
the costs of travel can be deducted as a donation to the VHPA, a
non-profit veteran’s organization. You will be part of a team actively
meeting those who make legislation happen, and we guarantee you will
find the experience rewarding and worthwhile.
The success of the November 29-30
Congressional Hall Walk will depend on everyone getting involved,
veteran pilots and crewmembers, gold star family members, everyone.
Whether you attend in person or challenge your representative and
senators in Washington by phone and email, your actions will have
A great deal of coordination is happening to
ensure our brief mission in the Capital is effective. The effort is
magnified in value if we can tell the representative/senator that their
constituent—YOU--sent us to speak on their behalf.
Please contact Bob Hesselbein, VHPA Legacy
Chairman, for more information regarding the November 29/30, 2016
Vietnam Helicopter Crew Memorial Act Hall Walk.