Upcoming Reunion

20th Anniversary Reunion Information

In 2000, our AC-119 Association’s Founding Fathers just wanted to get us together; to celebrate who we were, including the friendships and bonds we’d formed, and to affirm our place in military and SEA History.

WOW, did they ever succeed!

Since 2000, we’ve held Reunions every year at locations throughout our great country, doing exactly what our Founding Fathers set out to do. We’ve since added more reasons to get together, like NEW friends and bonds, including family members of our honored KIAs who Gave All.

20th Anniversaries are special on their own. But add in the simultaneous 50th Anniversary of our SEA tours, and the strength of the brotherhood we formed 50 years ago, and this Reunion becomes a once-in-a-lifetime event. Think about it! Our two Anniversaries – 20th and 50th – will never happen again! Join us to celebrate while we still can – help us show family, friends, and history the pride we have in being part of this AC-119 Gunship family. Our Meet & Greet, Banquet, Tour, and Farewell BBQ are top notch, with a huge Hootch that has a terrace and adjoins an indoor-outdoor pool. We have plenty of room and tables for picture albums and memorabilia, gatherings of friends, and all the other items that help us and others remember and know – we are AC-119ers!!!!  Salt Lake is a great destination on its own and we have a great hotel and Events to make this celebration memorable!!

 
Hotel Room Reservations – Little America Hotel and Towers
500 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

Little America in the heart of the city, https://saltlake.littleamerica.com, blocked their whole Garden wing just for us, with easy inside access to our Event and Hootch rooms, and to all the hotel’s amenities.

  • Rooms are $129 plus tax = $146.83 inclusive. Please remember, Hotel Reservations are not part of the Reunion Registration and you must contact the hotel separately. Call 1-800-437-5288 to reserve your room – tell them you are with the AC-119 Gunship Association. You can also use their website https://reservations.travelclick.com/4650?groupID=2413875. BOOK NOW! To guarantee you get our Reunion rate, you must reserve your room by August 4, 2019. NOTE: You can cancel without charge, as long as you cancel no later than 24 hours prior to your reservation check-in date.
  • Note: Our Reunion rate is good from Sept 1-12, 2019, for as long as rooms are available on those extended dates. Little America also reduced their rate for Tower rooms, for as long as Tower rooms are available, at $159 plus tax ($181 inclusive). When you check-in, the hotel will include an “authorization” on your credit card to cover incidentals you might bill. It is NOT charged to your Credit Card at check-in and if you don’t charge incidentals, the authorization is taken off your bill when you check-out. If you do charge incidentals, only the amount you charged will be applied against the authorization.
  • Our Garden Wing rooms include either one King Bed or 2 Queen Beds, Free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, small refrigerator, & coffee maker. Each spacious room has a small sitting area (smaller in the 2 Queen room).
  • Amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, and a fitness center with a whirlpool and sauna.
  • The hotel has a relaxed American grill, colorful coffee shop, and elegant lobby lounge.
 
Reunion Registration
After making your Hotel Reservation, Register for the Reunion!
  • You do that online at https://www.ac119gunships.com/shop/reunion/reunion-2019-registration/. Note: It’s a good idea to print your registration after you complete it, and bring it to the Reunion.
  • You can pay online with PayPal or Credit Card, and we greatly appreciate it when you use this method!
  • If you cannot pay online, fill in the Reunion Registration page in the Newsletter and mail it with a check, payable to “AC-119 Gunship Association”, to Doug Wohlgamuth, 504 Shea Place, Sun City Center, FL 33573.
  • Completing either of these actions registers you for the Reunion. If you plan to participate in the Park City Tour, include it on your Reunion Registration, also with payment.
  • Reunion Registration cut-off is August 30, 2019.

Cancellations on or before August 26, 2019, can receive a refund or make a donation. If you Cancel after August 26, 2019, we may be required to pay our contracted costs, so no refunds (but talk to us if there are special circumstances like family emergencies or losses).

When you arrive, we have our own separate Check-In area next to the regular Hotel Lobby Reservation desk. It’s dedicated just for us, and it’s also where you’ll pick up your Reunion Registration packet with name tags, Event tickets, etc. If we’re not there when you arrive, check-in at the Hotel Desk and go to the Hootch to pick up your Reunion Registration packet.

 

Click here to see who is coming to our 20th Anniversary Reunion so far.

 

Transportation
  • Airlines: Salt Lake is a Delta Airlines Hub, with 89 US Cities served by 645 daily direct flights.
  • The Trax Green Line is a light rail shuttle that goes from the Airport directly to Little America (The station is across the street from the hotel.) For $1.25 per person, you’ll be at our Reunion in 10 minutes! To ride TRAX:
    1. Make sure you arrive at your station early and be sure to include enough time to purchase a ticket from the ticket vending machine if necessary. TRAX stations are across the Salt Lake Valley. Schedules are posted at all TRAX platforms.
    2. Purchase your ticket. You must purchase your ticket before boarding TRAX. Ticket machines & electronic card readers are available at the station.
    3. Locate the correct platform. Look for the electronic signs overhead at each platform to see on which side of the platform your train is coming, along with the number of minutes before the train will arrive.
    4. Stand behind the yellow strip. Stay behind the strip until the train comes to a complete stop.
    5. Determine if this is the train you want. Signs on the front of TRAX trains indicate whether the train is a Blue, Red or Green Line train as well as the destination. You want the Green Line.
    6. Board the train. Stay behind the yellow strip until the train stops, then push the green button on the door you want to enter. Allow those exiting the train to leave before stepping aboard. If you have mobility issues (trouble walking or taking stairs, on crutches, in a wheelchair) go to the ramp.
    7. Be Ready for Fare Inspection. Be prepared to show the fare inspector your ticket/receipt or card.
    8. Find your station and exit the train. TRAX trains stop at every station. Announcements tell you the next station that the train will stop. You can always look out the window at stops, as all stations are clearly marked with their location on the platform. There are also maps on every train to show you the various TRAX routes. If you paid with an electronic pass or FAREPAY card, tap off as you exit the platform.

Car: Parking at the hotel is free and close to your room.

Local: TRAX has a “free fare zone” in downtown Salt Lake City where you can ride for free to many local attractions. If you start or end your trip outside the Free Fare Zone, you’ll need valid fare.

RVs/Campers: Salt Lake City KOA is at 1400 W North Temple https://koa.com/campgrounds/salt-lake-city/

RVs and oversized vehicles can park on the 600 South lot across from the hotel if you are a hotel guest. Contact Chuck for info on the free RV parking permits (The lot does not have electrical or other hook-ups.)

Reunion Agenda

Wednesday, Sept 4 (Reunion Registration; Hootch; anything you want to do on your own!)

0800 – Hootch opens at Garden Terrace on 2nd Floor. NOTE: The Hootch opens daily from about 0800 until about 2200 except during our Meet & Greet, Banquet, and Farewell BBQ. Hootch snacks and beverages include mixed nuts and pretzels; chips with pico de gallo, guacamole, and chile con queso dip; beer, wine, and sodas. Utah Law restricts service of alcoholic beverages before 1100. Therefore, our Hootch will only serve sodas until 1100 daily, with beer and wine available after 1100.

Thursday, Sept 5 (Reunion Registration; Hootch; anything on your own!)

0800 – Hootch opens at Garden Terrace on 2nd Floor.

Friday, Sept 6 (Reunion Registration; Hootch; anything on your own; Meet & Greet!)

0800 – Hootch opens at Garden Terrace on 2nd Floor.

1700Meet & Greet Cash Bar in Ballroom Reception area on 1st Floor.

1800 Meet & Greet in Ballroom A and B on 1st Floor is $40; ½ price for children 10 or under.

  • Introductions of Reunion newcomers including guests and KIA Family members.
  • Menu: While you “MEET & GREET”, there’s plenty of food throughout the evening; take your time going to the carving stations and other food items.
    • Glazed Ham Carving Station paired with whole grain mustard and chive mayonnaise; and Top Round Beef Carving Station paired with creamed horseradish and Cajun mustard, and yummy Little America Silver Dollar rolls.
    • Potato salad; veggie trays with blue cheese and herb ranch dip, and fruit trays with yogurt ginger dip.
    • Brownies!
    • Kids 10 and under ½ price. Note: If you have babies or really young children, talk to Chuck.

Saturday, Sept 7 (Association and Ladies Meetings; Hootch; anything on your own; Anniversary Banquet!)

0800 – Hootch opens at Garden Terrace on 2nd Floor.

0900-1100 – Business Meeting in Ballroom A on 1st Floor and Ladies Meeting in 2nd floor Snowbasin Room.

1700Anniversary Banquet Cash Bar in Ballroom Reception area on 1st Floor.

1800Anniversary Banquet in Ballroom A and B on 1st Floor is $52; ½ price for children 10 or under.

  • President’s welcome and Traditions.
  • Anniversary Banquet Menu – choice of one of these plated entrees:
    • Horseradish crusted Prime Rib accompanied by au jus, creamed horseradish; served with a baked potato and seasonal vegetables, or –
    • Pan seared New England Cod American topped with a lobster cream sauce; accompanied by wasabi mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, or –
    • Stuffed Chicken Breast Little America stuffed with “Our Famous Bread and Sausage Stuffing”, topped with chicken pan gravy; accompanied by mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables
    • Entrees include tossed garden greens paired with English cucumbers, daikon radish, tomato, and carrot juliennes accompanied with herb ranch dressing; Little America homemade rolls; and cheesecake with raspberry sauce.
    • Kids 10 and under, Chicken Tenders and french fries at $26 (If you have babies or really young children, talk to Chuck.)

Sunday, Sept 8 (Golf; Hootch; Park City Tour; anything you want to do on your own; Farewell BBQ!)

Early – Golf Tournament. Doug Wohlgamuth will coordinate details with golfers.

0900-1600 Park City Tour for $20 per person includes a 45-minute bus drive with beautiful mountain scenery, fun shopping, 2002 Winter Olympics site, and great food. More Park City tour info here.

1730 – Farewell BBQ on East Terrace on 2nd Floor is $50; ½ price for children 10 or under.

  • Cowboy Chuck Wagon Buffet includes:
    • Barbeque pork ribs and honey glazed chicken legs; Little America homemade rolls.
    • Baked beans topped with smoked sausage; stewed green beans, and scalloped potatoes.
    • Tossed greens served with herb ranch and house balsamic dressing, and fresh sliced watermelon.
    • Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce and Peach Cobbler.
Reunion Special Information
  • Breakfasts and Lunches –On your own. The Hotel’s Café has excellent, affordable breakfasts!
  • Dinners – On your own except Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s planned Events.
  • For special dietary or other needs call Chuck Williams 703-624-6995 (no text please) or email chuckhole@earthlink.com.
  • Saturday Anniversary BanquetThis is the ONLY Reunion in the last dozen years where we suggest that one Event, our Anniversary Banquet, is a dress up opportunity. There is NO Dress Code requirement. It’s simply the opportunity to show the classiness and pride us combat geezers still have. So, wear a tux or Mess Dress or Party Suit (can you still fit in it?) if you want to; or a coat and tie; or our “Association” Golf-style Shirt with a Stinger or Shadow Ascot or tie. If you want to order an “Association” Golf Shirt, Ascot, or tie contact Gus Sininger at 850-865-2634 or order the items at https://www.ac119gunships.com/product-category/clothing/.
    Ladies: Go for it if you’d like – You look great no matter what!!
  • Crew Pictures: Send us (or bring) your Air or Ground Crew picture; we’ll put them in a folder on the Reunion Web Page, with your crewmembers’ names. This is a great reason (and time) to contact your crewmates – now, while they’re still around – and to get together with them at this Reunion for a “Then and Now” picture celebrating your 50 years of brotherhood. Send Crew Pictures, with any names—even if it’s only a first or last name–to Wayne Laessig at Qadvocate@sbcglobal.net or call him at 707-592-4492.
  • Prices: Yep, they’re higher than we’ve seen in the past. Gus is also finding that costs may be higher for our 2020 Fort Walton Reunion. BUT, we’ll do what we can to get your final costs to the most reasonable level we can. We plan to use some of our (growing) Association funds to reduce Event costs; and Sponsorships will be applied to Reunion Event costs (See the Sponsorship bullet below.) All of this means you will see “final” Event costs reduced for our Salt Lake City Anniversary Reunion, with reductions coming from Sponsorships and/or Association $. We expect everyone to get a “partial refund” in their Reunion Reception package.
  • Sponsorships: First, we strive to keep Reunion costs as low as we can. One way to help us do that is to become a Sponsor! Learn more about what that means and how to become a sponsor at https://www.ac119gunships.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Become-an-AC119-Gunship-Association-Sponsor.pdf or in the Newsletter. Second, our strong crew relationships in AC-119s is one of the best things we have. So, all the Aircrew who were on Donnie Williams’ Stinger Crew challenge the rest of you to Sponsor your Crew. And, if any Gunners, or Navs, or Gun Shop, or spouses or kids, or simply a group of close friends, want to do a Sponsorship – go for it!! On Crew or Group sponsorships, here’s how you do it: one of you starts the ball with a donation, and “titles” the Sponsorship (e.g., Fred Blazeroff’s Crew, or The Bruce Pismo Bunch, or Stinger Ammo Can Sitters, etc). We’ll include the names of those who donate to that Sponsorship when we list the Sponsorships on the web and in our Banquet Brochure.
  • Reunion Helpers: Coordinator Chuck Williams can use help on a few things at the Reunion. If you can help, please contact Chuck at 703-624-6995 (no text please) or chuckhole@earthlink.net and let him know what you’d like to do. You can make suggestions on others who can help with a specific item or event.
    1. Welcome Team who will welcome folks, and give them their Check-In and Reception package in a separate room next to the main Lobby Check-In area set aside just for our Reunion Check-ins. You only need to cover one morning, afternoon, or evening:
      • Wednesday afternoon or evening
      • Thursday morning, afternoon, or evening
      • Friday morning or afternoon (After that, Reception and Check-In packages will be in the Hootch.)
    2. Hootch-Sitters are the “Go To” person in the Hootch for a morning, afternoon, or evening. They tell the bartender if snacks need replenishing or the Hootch needs cleaning, and make sure questions or requests get to Chuck. Sitters only need to cover one morning, afternoon, or evening stint. We also don’t need Sitters during the Meet & Greet, Association Meetings, Banquet, or BBQ.
      • Wednesday afternoon or evening
      • Thursday morning, afternoon, or evening
      • Friday morning or afternoon (during Meet and Greet, no Sitter needed)
      • Saturday afternoon (during Association/Spouses Meetings and Banquet, no Sitters needed)
      • Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon (during Farewell BBQ, no Sitter needed)
    3. If you’d like to assist on our Tour, contact Andrea Drzyzga; 973-223-0186 or Andreadrzy@yahoo.com
    4. If you’d like to help with our Silent Auction, contact Chuck. We need several people to help coordinate this! Silent Auction recommendations: hand-crafted items are great; something that fits in luggage helps. If you have an item you think needs to be bid upon as an active auction item, please let Chuck know and he’ll coordinate with our Auction Team on whether it will be a Silent or Active auction item.
  • Video Sessions and History Book Bios: Over the last 15 years, over 175 of our air and ground crew—and several family members—have done a video session at our Reunions. These supplement our History Book and add a clarity about AC-119s and SEA that can only occur when you watch and listen to someone tell their story. Please read Why Do a Video Session (https://www.ac119gunships.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Video-Sessions-Why-Do-One.pdf).  Spouses and family members: you are welcomed to do a video related to your AC-119 Member’s time in AC-119s. On the History Book Bios, Terry Sarul has been collecting Bios from guys whose stories were not in the original. We’ll either post new inputs on our web History Book page or do a History Book Supplement. The Reunion Registration includes questions on the video sessions and History Book Bios, and gives you the opportunity to do these for this Reunion. PLEASE consider doing a Video and Bio!
  • We will notify you and update the website if anything changes. The important thing right now is to complete your Hotel Reservation and your Reunion Registration!
 
ON YOUR OWN: Things to see and do in Salt Lake City and vicinity

There are many activities and adventures you can do! Print the On Your Own Tours to see some options, including those available via the free Trax lines that load and return just across the street from our hotel.

  • Hill AFB Aerospace Museum – Rivals Wright-Patterson’s. Open Mon-Sat 0900-1600. Free! Visit https://www.aerospaceutah.org/. Museum is not inside base perimeter so you don’t need Military ID; or enter thru a Hill AFB gate to enter the Museum. More info in the On Your Own Tours.
  • Family History Library – World’s largest genealogical library! Open Mon 0800-1700 and Tue-Sat 0800-2100; CLOSED Sun. Take Trax to 35 North West Temple Street downtown. Visit https://www.templesquare.com/explore/family-history-library/. Look up relatives you didn’t even know you had. Free, so bring whatever info you have and get started! More info in the On Your Own Tours.
  • Live, televised Tabernacle Choir performance – Sunday morning in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. Admission is free, limited to those 8 years and older. Doors open at 0830, and guests should be seated by 0915, when the doors close. The broadcast is 30 minutes and ends at 1000. More info at http://www.thetabernaclechoir.org/events/music-and-the-spoken-word.html.
  • Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Open Pit Copper Mine – Visitor Center and Mine Overlook for $5. More info in the On Your Own Tours.
  • ALL NEW FOR 2019: Go INSIDE the world’s largest open-pit mine! – A 75-mile adventure to explore the largest manmade hole on earth and the richest copper mine in history. Open 0930-1230 Mon-Sat; $59 Adult / $30 child 10 and under. Visit https://toursofutah.com/kennecott-utah-bingham-canyon-copper-mine-tour. More info in the On Your Own Tours.
  • Narrated tour explains the history and operations of the largest, richest copper/silver/gold mine on earth.
  • Panoramic views at the visitor observation deck of the largest man-made hole in human history.
  • Witness megaton explosions – detonated twice daily (Blasts occur at random times each day.)
  • Travel by the world’s largest waste-rock repositories.
  • See the world’s largest earth-moving trucks and shovels.
  • PHOTO OPs in front of a 13-foot truck tire and inside a gigantic mining shovel scoop.
  • “This Is The Place” State Park and Living History Museum – Go to https://www.thisistheplace.org/. Open 0900-1700 daily. Call 801-582-1847 for more information. More info in the On Your Own Tours.
  • Aerial Tram to summit of Snowbird Ski Resort – 2002 Winter Olympics site. The Tram whisks you 2,900 vertical feet up a 1.6-mile cable on a 10-minute trip to the top of Hidden Peak and The Summit mountaintop restaurant. Enjoy views of snow-capped slopes and Salt Lake Valley. Round-trip of 40 minutes includes 20 minutes of sightseeing on Hidden Peak (You can stay longer.) The Tram and Hidden Peak Terminal are handicap accessible. Open 1100-1700 Sat-Sun. Costs Round-trip: Adults $18; age 7-16 and 65+ $17; Accompanied Child (6 or under) FREE but ticket required; Family Pass for 2 adults and up to 4 kids $72. Call 801-933-2222 or visit https://www.snowbird.com/summer-activities/tram/. CAUTION: High altitude!
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