Mel sent this email to all registered members to bring us up to speed on upcoming meetings and provide more details on what’s going on with the chapter.

Good Morning VHPAWA

I have several things to pass on in this email.

  1. Auburn and Veterans Day: There has been a lot of activity in the past month regarding use of the helicopter for the Veterans Day Parade. The truck that we have used from the Olympia Air Museum was in for more repairs, and then it was deadlined. So it’s out for good. We had a second truck lined up but then the owner/driver had medical needs and had to drop out. And finally, I wish to extend a big thanks to my son. Chad has a new Dodge truck with the kind of hitch that we need and he says he’ll be happy to haul the helicopter. We met Pat Staeheli at Olympia Aviation Museum Saturday and sized things up. We’re good to go and will see you in Auburn on Saturday, November 10th. Pat is sending out the formal notice.
  2. I have also been in contact with Famous Dave’s in Everett for our February Meeting. Their address is:

Famous Dave’s 1206 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, WA 98208, Saturday, February 16th from 1030 to 1300. We are looking forward to a lunch at the Everett Famous Dave’s just like the one we normally enjoy in Tacoma.

Our Everett Meeting will be the first meeting of our 2019 calendar year. After our opening activities and greetings, our next item of business will be the Election of Officers. Please give this some thought as we move toward 2019.

That’s all for now. Here are the Minutes from our Spokane Meeting:

Washington State VHPA Meeting September 15, 2018

Meeting opened at 10:30 AM by Mel Latham.

2018/2019 Officers:

President:              Mel Latham

Vice-President:      Dave Swanson

Treasurer:             John Schafer

Secretary:              Bob Salling (Pat Staeheli is filling in as secretary).

Webmaster:           Rick Walker and Bill Vaughn are our Webmasters.

Rick’s email is:

Bill’s email is:

Members at Large:
Senior: Hal Thornton
Mid-term: Alex Broman
Junior: Doug Decker

All members present Saluted the Flag and Recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Opening Prayer by Chaplain Pat Staeheli.

RIP: A celebration of life for Dick Bradley was held Thursday, Sept. 13, beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Mountain View Memorial Park in Lakewood, WA. Richard Craig Bradley was born and raised in Auburn, New York and resided in Fox Island WA. Dick passed away peacefully at the age of 71. Dick was an army aviator for 24 years including two tours in Vietnam. In January 1979 Dick was hired by a small airline named Alaska Airlines. He began his civilian career as an engineer on the Boeing 727. Dick made Captain in four years and flew for Alaska for a total of 28 years racking up over 32,000 hours.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations for local cancer care and research to South Sound Care Foundation, P.O. Box 1314 Tacoma, WA 98401-1314 or .

Reading of June’s Minutes at Olympia Airport:

Note: Our Secretary from the Famous Dave’s meeting was not present at Olympia. We are still missing February’s Minutes. Once they are found, I will send them out to our membership.

Treasurer’s Report, John Schafer: &17,322 with $1,417.84 income. We have 136 members, 80 current and 56 life. All finances are up to date.

A question was asked about what our finances were based on. John detailed our income and investments, including what we have in our Chapter Store. And income coming in from membership. John also mentioned that he was also serving as the Treasurer for our National VHPA.

Introduction of members. We introduced ourselves with a brief description of our Aviation background.

Old Business:

I got an email from Al Major in Bellingham who asks:

Thanks for the email. Unfortunately, I’m not able to attend this one.  I asked three different members about car-pooling, and they all said they weren’t going either.  I live in Bellingham, so the drive makes for a long day.

Which brings up another point.  When is there going to be a meeting on the north end?  If you are missing members, and have lapsed members, I suspect part of the reason may be this obsession with having meetings in Tacoma and Olympia.  A cursory look at the roster shows a significant number of VHPA members reside north of Seattle.

I replied:

I agree, and yes, I’ll make it a business topic Saturday. I recall that we had a meeting on Whidbey Island and took a tour of the Naval Air Facility a number of years ago. I also have an old Army Pilot (now Marine) friend out by Fort Eby State Park. Might be able to get him involved if we have a meeting up your way… I will look into it and give you, well, all of us, some feedback.

I like the Marysville area – I was involved in the Oso landslide recovery effort and spent three weeks up there. I’ll see what I can come up with.

In a general discussion, it was decided that I would pass this on in our minutes and that we would further discuss the following two options.

1) Would be that we rotate our February meeting from Famous Dave’s to a place up near Marysville. The Tulalip Casino comes to mind, but there are other places to consider as well.

2) Would be that we add another meeting in late April up in Marysville, again with the same locations mentioned above.

I have had at least eight members contact me over this and all of them have responded with a yes. With that in mind, I have contacted the Tulalip Casino about meeting space and meals.

Other Old Business: None.

New Business:

1) We have had several occasions where we might have been able to haul the Helicopter out for a public appearance if it weren’t for a faulty truck. And now I hear that the owner of the truck is reluctant to loan it out.

It has been suggested by John Schafer that our Chapter is able to assist a few members with the purchase/installation of a hitch that can be used to haul the Helicopter. John, would you talk about this as you see fit?

John replied that we need at least two people from our Chapter who may be interested in taking on the towing responsibility. We have enough funds to cover a gooseneck hitch install of roughly $1,000. If you are interested, give John a call or send him an email. We would like to have this in place so that we can haul the helicopter up to Auburn for the Veteran’s Day Parade.

2) Passing on Joe Kline Helicopter Prints: I was contacted several weeks ago by John Hayes who served as an LRRP in K Company, 75th Ranger Battalion in the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. A friend of his had left him with five Joe Kline Helicopter Prints and he didn’t have room for them and wanted to know if we would like them. I assured him that we would find a home for them in our Aviation community.

Here’s what I propose: I would like to keep one print to hang on a wall at my VFW in Tacoma. And I would like the remaining four prints to go to the four corners of our State; one to go to a member from Seattle and points north, one to a member on the east side of the Cascades, one to go to a member from Olympia and points south and one to a member who lives west of Puget Sound. I’ll bring the prints with me to Spokane for you to view and to pass out.

West Side: Rick Thomas from Aberdeen, Jack Salm from Bainbridge Island.

Rick won the card cut.

East Side: Dave Eck Sr. from Moses Lake, Guy Hankins from Spokane and John Johnston also from Spokane.

Guy Hankins won the card cut.

North Side: Steve Lodwig; Al Major from Bellingham.

Both Steve and Al wanted one for the Eagles Aerie in Stanwood so Steve selected his choice for the haul home.

South Side: Dennis Nicks from Olympia. Dennis was our sole South Side member. He plans to donate his print to the Olympia VFW.

3) John Shafer and Steve Lodwig talked about going to Arlington for the unveiling of the Vietnam helicopter pilot and crew member memorial. They both described the event as inspiring.

Auburn Veterans Day Meeting:

Our next meeting will be in Auburn at the Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 10th at 10:00 AM. Details on our location in the parade will be posted in an upcoming email unless Pat Staeheli has an update for us.

February Meeting at Famous Dave’s in Everett:

As you may recall from New Business above, I have been looking at several places north of Seattle to conduct a meeting. I’ve also looked at our costs in adding a meeting in April but had to rule that out because of available cash. So here’s what I propose: That we continue with our February meeting at Famous Dave’s, but move it from Tacoma to Everett in 2019. This would not be a permanent move, but an every-other-year thing. We would be back in Tacoma in 2020, etc. The Famous Dave’s address (and date) in Everett is:

Famous Dave’s 1206 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, WA 98208, Saturday, February 16th.

For discussion: The idea of moving back and forth from Tacoma to Everett was welcomed by all members present. And when you include the positive email that has come in, it was decided that we would give this a try.

Our meetings was closed in Prayer by: Pat Staeheli.

All members Saluted the Flag in Retreat.

Respectfully Submitted:

Mel Latham 360.890.1798


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