Relatives and friends of fallen helicopter crewmen and pilots
are invited to the
The Family Contacts Committee of VHFCN is a group of volunteers who assist family members of helicopter crewmen and pilots who were casualties of the Vietnam War by finding information and/or putting them in contact with friends of their departed loved-one. Most of us are members of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association or the Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association.
Many relatives and buddies of Vietnam War casualties are eager to get in touch with each other. Some have been searching for years, others have started just recently. We have heard from widows, mothers, fathers, sisters, daughters, sons, nieces, and nephews. Some are searching for detailed reports of the casualty incident, others are trying to find out more about "What kind of person was he: his likes and dislikes, his quirks, what made him laugh?" Sometimes, the searcher is a son or daughter trying to learn about the father they never met.
To provide detailed information about the casualty incident we can search both official government casualty records if we have them, a database of eyewitness reports from members of VHPA or VHCMA (usually friends of the casualty).
To facilitate contacts between family members and buddies, we try to find men who served in the same unit in Vietnam or attended flight school or technical school with the casualty. Flight school took almost a year and forged very close friendships. Flight crews in Vietnam depended on each other for daily survival; we frequently risked our lives for each other. The bonds of camaraderie extend beyond those who knew each other to include a "brotherhood" of all those who crewed on helicopters in that war. We begin the search with an email poll of more than 400 crewmen and pilots we know have internet accounts. Then we search our membership databases for men from the same unit or class. We can not release names of members, so we mail out the letters or make the first phone calls ourselves.
Family members are warmly welcomed into the extended family of Vietnam helicopter crews. We encourage them to participate in reunions of the VHCMA in June, the VHPA in July, and VHFCN gatherings on Veterans Day weekend in Washington. We encourage private, personal, communication between family members and our membership. Our members have escorted family members to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and The Moving Wall. We recognize that had events been a little different, a loved-one of ours could today be looking for information about one of us.
We regret that we do not have records of men or women who were killed in Vietnam other than helicopter casualties. We do not have member databases of other organizations. If your relative was a helicopter crewmember or not, there are ways to help other find you. We suggest posting memorials on The Virtual Wall or on the Taps Gallery of the Vietnam Veterans Home Page.
For those we can help, please send email to our contact representative. Please tell us a little about the person and yourself, and how you would like us to help you.
For crewmen and pilots wishing to make contact with family members, we encourage you to register with us by sending email.
If you wish to obtain military records of your deceased loved one please send email to Ann Kelsey. Ann knows the ropes and contacts. She was a civilian employee of the US Army Special Services in Vietnam during the war and is active in veterans' issues.
Read Family Contacts Success Stories
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