We are the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association of Florida, Incorporated. We are organized under articles of incorporation in the State of Florida and recognized as a non-profit, veterans organization under Section 501c (19) of the federal tax code. We are an independent, geographical chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, Incorporated® (VHPA)™. The VHPAF is a totally separate, independent entity and is not authorized to act as an agent, or representative, of the VHPA or any other chapters.
Our objectives as a geographical chapter are identical to those of the VHPA™ national organization.
- To enhance and accredit the cohesiveness, esprit de corps and traditions of valor of rotary wing aircrews that flew in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era.
- To seek out, using whatever means available, individuals who piloted rotary wing aircraft in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Era and inform them of the existence of the VHPA™ and encourage all eligible individuals to become members.
- Furthermore, we are dedicated to providing a local atmosphere where, through community support and periodic meetings, our members may reunite and promote the additional purposes of our Florida association.
- Copies of our constitution and bylaws are available to our members. Contact our Secretary to request your copy via email.
- We reach out to potential members and provide a significant presence for current members in many of their local communities. Below are some of the ways we accomplish this objective.
- We participate in many veteran, aviation, and patriotic events throughout Florida every year. You will find a partial listing by clicking on our Calendar link. We set up booths, we maintain displays of Vietnam Era memorabilia, we hand out free literature that provides more information about us, we merchandise items of interest to veterans and the general public, and we march in parades with our Vietnam Era helicopters.
- We no longer publish a newsletter due to the expense. In its place, we have a Listserv (essentially a large mass e-mail) that keeps our members up-to-date on our activities, information of interest, where we are going next, and what we are doing to further support our members and their communities. As of July 2012, 165 out of 440 members are on the Listserv. For more information, send an e-mail to the Secretary.
- Our members give lectures in local schools about our nation’s Vietnam experience. We usually offer a perspective that was not reported in the national news media those many years ago.
- Upon request, we support our local Florida communities in their events which coincide with our purposes above.
- And we throw a pretty good party for our members and their guests at least once a year when we hold our annual reunion.
- We encourage our brother Crew Chiefs and Gunners to join us as associate members as well.
The primary goal of the VHPAF is to locate, contact, and encourage every helicopter pilot who flew in Vietnam to become a member. Remember, the day will come when there will be only one Vietnam helicopter pilot remaining. Then there will none. It would be a shame if he did not realize he was the last, and with his passing so passes the long legacy of the “Helicopter War” we were all a part of shaping.
We are a unique brotherhood, born out of a national need, nurtured and educated in the finest traditions of the military, and proudly carried our dreams and ambitions into the heart and heat of deadly battle far away in an unpopular war. We served, we flew, and many of our kind perished or vanished. Their voices and faces remain always young. They too are part of the VHPA of Florida endeavor. We will never let them be forgotten.