That's simple enough. They weren't in Vietnam, so they didn't have the same experience base the plankowners of the ACA were use to seeing. Got the same sort of response when the reserves started playing more on traditionally active duty turf and got involved in their organizations (Spectre Association, Blackbird Assn, etc). It's not all that uncommon a response; I heard a story once the VFW wouldn't allow Korean War vets to become members initially because Korea wasn't an officially declared war. Just takes a little time to break past those barriers.
The walls are coming down in the ACA, the founder passed a few months ago and the current President passed last month (RIP) to both. Members know that they need those of us that are post Vietnam vets. I drop in about twice a month and can really see that the "old heads" really want young blood. If you look at the ACA Hall of Fame you will see quite a few non SEA vets there. Join up folks, if we don't preserve are past, no one will!
Glad to see that happening. The last reunion I went to (2002?) was pretty nasty. Some folks wanted to move the reunion to a non-holiday weekend and the old-timer reaction was essentially"fuck off, we've always done it on this weekend". They then bitched that very few (i.e. me) active duty were around. They also were pretty rude to the guy trying to give the SOWF brief.
I am a life member, but would not have renewed if I was paying year by year.
News from ACA Headquarters
August 2010 - President's Column
Forty-one years ago then Colonel H. C. Aderholt led the establishment of the Air Commando Association. And on 20 May this year Brig Gen Heinie Aderholt, Air Commando One, took his final flight. We have lost an iconic leader whose many pioneering efforts really fleshed out today’s ACA, especially including the push to raise funds for building the current ACA HQs and establishment of our humanitarian arm, the McCoskrie Threshold Foundation. To further sadden us ACA President Chuck Keeler unexpectedly passed away a month after Heinie’s death. CMSGt (Ret) Keeler had served as President for a total of seven years – he is greatly missed.
On 2 July the ACA, greatly assisted by AFSOC and the 1st Special Operations Wing, sponsored a Memorial Service for Heinie. An overflow crowd estimated at around 650 people, attended at the Soundside Club. AF Chief of Staff General Norty Schwartz delivered a brilliant eulogy. The ACA can be proud of this tribute to Air Commando One. There is more on this event in Hap’s column.
After acceding to the position of President as outlined in our constitution, it occurred to me that our membership, now at 2,700, consists of a large number of older guys, mostly from the Vietnam era, and overwhelmingly retired folks. Therefore, you will see big new efforts by ACA to more closely align itself with the active duty AF Special Ops force. I have spoken with the current AFSOC commander and have his support as you will see at the next ACA reunion.
Speaking of the annual ACA reunion in October, we hope to make this one a really big event and I urge as many of you as possible to sign up for it. Please get your reservations in early because we expect a capacity crowd. The new Soundside Club which can seat almost twice as many people as the old club. There is more on the reunion elsewhere in the newsletter, but I want to underscore that our guest speaker is, Admiral Olson, Commander of US Special Operations Command. This promises to be a truly great event, but more on this is included by our new Vice President Dennis Barnett, Col USAF (Ret) formerly the Director of Staff AFSOC, who is leading the preparations for the reunion. See you in Oct.!
Any Time, Any Place,
Maj Gen, USAF (ret)