acheter viagra nos partenaires

50th anniversary of the death of Vietnam War helicopter pilot Maj. Charles Kelly

On July 1, 1964, the life of Maj. Charles L. Kelly was ended as he was killed during the Vietnam War by an enemy’s single bullet after the military hero was warned out of a “hot” landing zone. Maj. Kelly’s reply that day: “When I have your wounded.”
Marking the 50th anniversary of the passing of Maj. Kelly, Kelly’s son and daughter-in-law gathered with local VFW members and others for a tribute at the fallen soldier’s grave in Screven Memorial Cemetery. A wreath was placed in honor of Maj. Kelly.
This ceremony is part of an extended remembrance to honor the bravery of Screven Countian Kelly as during the pregame of the Screven County High School Gamecocks’ 2014 regular-season football opener, Kelly Memorial Stadium will be rededicated for the officer who flew his Huey helicopter into war zones to rescue the wounded.
To commemorate what Kelly has meant to Screven County and America as a whole, a granite memorial will be unveiled Saturday, Aug. 23, inside the stadium fence area near the ticket booth/concession stand. Donations for the memorial will be accepted through the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7116 as individuals are asked to make checks payable to the VFW post and denote the contribution in the lower left as “Maj. Charles Kelly Rededication.”
Dustoff, which Maj. Kelly founded, remains in existence today.
“People still use that motto,” Charles Kelly Jr. said Tuesday afternoon at the cemetery as he attended the memorial with his wife Brenda. “They still fly into dangerous areas to pick up the wounded.”
Maj. Kelly was willing to fly into perilous regions to rescue the injured as he often flew missions at night, claiming that all the times he had been hit had been during daylight.
In preparation for the rededication ceremony next month, several hours already have gone into the event that will be conducted that Saturday evening at the stadium to honor the Sylvania High School graduate prior to the 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the St. Johns High School (S.C.) Islanders.
As the game scheduled on a non-traditional Saturday night approaches, additional information will be released by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7116 and the Friends of Maj. Charles Kelly Committee. Vietnam veterans are urged to contact VFW post commander Peter Mayer at 912-266-1752 to be part of the rededication.
“This is home to me,” Kelly Jr. said of Sylvania. “My grandmother lived on South Main Street.”
Like Tuesday’s tribute to his father, Kelly Jr. said the Aug. 23 unveiling of the new granite memorial and ceremony at the stadium will be special to the Kelly family.
“It means a lot to me,” Kelly Jr. said. “There is a new generation of people who don’t know who he was. He was 39 years old when he died. Most of the ones he was going in to save were teenagers fighting in a war.”
Kelly Jr. said the granite memorial and ceremony in August will provide people with more knowledge of how his father made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
He presented a poster of Maj. Kelly with his helicopter that has the words “When I Have Your Wounded” and “July 1, 1964,” on it to the city of Sylvania. Kelly Jr. plans to provide other poster copies for Kelly Memorial Stadium and the VFW post.
As commander of the helicopter ambulance, Maj. Kelly assumed the call sign “Dustoff.”  When Kelly died from the bullet piercing his heart, his “Dustoff” did not perish with him as it became the call sign for all other aeromedical missions in Vietnam. “When I have your wounded” would become the personal and collective credo of the Dustoff pilots who followed Kelly, who would be inducted into the Dustoff Hall of Fame in February 2001.
“One of the biggest things is I have stayed in touch with Dustoff members over the years,” said Kelly Jr., who lives near Martinez, Ga.
Known as the “Father of Dustoff,” Maj. Kelly was a U.S. Army helicopter pilot with the 57th Medical Detachment from January to July 1964 as he was killed when he attempted to evacuate a wounded American advisor along with several South Vietnamese soldiers.
Kelly Jr. said he has been in constant contact with the 57th Medical Detachment and in 2007 he served as the keynote speaker for the 57th at Fort Bragg, N.C. at the detachment.
On Tuesday, VFW Post 7116 Senior Vice Commander Tom Schribner read a biography about Maj. Kelly at the tribute as a wreath was placed at the grave. Prayers were given by VFW chaplain Jimmy Ondriezek and “Taps” was played for Kelly.
Schribner said that whenever the term “Dustoff” came across the military radio frequency all personnel would stop talking and listen.
“When you heard that, you knew that someone was seriously hurt and that the pilot was going into a combat area,” Schribner said. Dustoff is the only ones who have a dedicated frenquency.
Sylvania Mayor Margaret Evans told those who gathered at the cemetery that Maj. Kelly provided inspiration and because of his selfless acts we continue to have freedoms today.
“He gave us such a great example of what it is to be an American,” Evans said.
The stadium on Halcyondale Road was named in honor of Kelly Oct. 15, 1965, after the high school’s letterman’s club, the S Club, had sponsored a contest as students submitted potential names for the field. A committee of community leaders, civic clubs and school personnel then narrowed the list down to three. The school board reviewed that trio of choices; took them under advisement; and chose Kelly to be the namesake for the stadium.
Maj. Kelly was posthumously awarded the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Service Cross, South Vietnam’s Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the National Order of Vietnam, Fifth Class, the highest honor for the country of South Vietnam.