Volume 27 | March 18, 2022
Passing of LTG Quinn Becker
The AMEDD Museum Foundation was sad to hear of the passing of LTG Quinn Becker, 36th
Surgeon General of the Army. Our next edition of the eNews will be a tribute to his life, work, and his
support of the AMEDD Museum Foundation.

Our deepest condolences go out to LTG Becker’s family and loved ones. The Foundation has set up a
donation fund in his memory. Checks should be made out to the AMEDD Museum Foundation.
Military Appreciation Art Show
On February 18, 2022, the AMEDD Museum Foundation hosted the Military Appreciation Art Show for the students from Cole Senior High School. Ten photography students from Cole submitted photographs and digital collages of their works to the Museum and Foundation for display. Voting was open to the public for prize winners with prizes donated by First Command Financial Services. With almost 150 votes, the community was very engaged with supporting this event and sharing their input on the artworks submitted. The winners were divided into three categories. First, the best overall submission for 11th grade. Second, the best overall submission for 12th grade. Finally, the grand prize was the Spirit of the AMEDD Award for the student whose work best captures the courage, loyalty, and resiliency shown by members of the Army Medical Department in the face of adversity. 

The winners were:
11th Grade: Payton Cunningham
12th Grade: Sophia Alaniz
Spirit of AMEDD: Sophia Alaniz
This art show was the first in-person event hosted by the Foundation since 2019. The art show enabled the Foundation to continue its mission of supporting and promoting the AMEDD Museum, as well as amplifying the Museum’s impact in the community. Through the eyes and lenses of these high schoolers, the Museum staff is able to gain insight into how the AMEDD is viewed by the next generation that will become a part of the AMEDD. We are looking forward to growing this program and having more participants next year. We want to congratulate all of the participants for their creative submissions and their incredible talents. The winning artworks will be displayed by the AMEDD Museum, and all of the submissions can be viewed online at the AMEDD Museum Foundation’s website. 
Legacy in Flight
US Army UH-1H Iroquois helicopter at American Legion Post 77 in Conyers, Georgia. Photo courtesy of COL (Ret.) Merle Snyder.
In Conyers, Georgia, at American Legion Post 77, a UH-1H “Huey” helicopter with tail number 66-16405 is suspended as if in flight. While many may pass by this bird on their daily commute, it serves as a silent reminder of a legacy that has rippling effects today and far beyond our lifetimes.

“In the sky yet today, a lasting reminder of those who died in her arms, those who were defended by her fury, in a silent hover now, vigilantly waiting for the next call,” reads the marker identifying this helicopter. US Army Colonel (Retired) Merle Snyder, a hero whose own military career serves as a humble reminder of the bravery and selflessness of our servicemembers, vividly recalls memories of his service as a medical evacuation pilot with the 45th Medical Company, 44th Medical Brigade in Vietnam. COL Snyder started his career as an enlisted soldier, became a Warrant Officer, and eventually was direct commissioned as a Medical Service Corps officer. He is a member of the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame.
Merle Snyder (right) and his crew in Vietnam with one of their Hueys.
COL (Ret.) Snyder personally flew over 1,387 combat missions to transport and/or rescue over 3,200 patients in Vietnam with this specific helicopter as one of his evacuation vehicles. The helicopters were numbered by the fiscal year in which they were bought by the military. So, with this example, tail number 66-16405 means the helicopter was ordered in 1966, manufactured in 1967, and it would have arrived in Vietnam just before COL Snyder did in 1968. At the time, he was a Warrant Officer. This was one of several helicopters that his platoon had on hand to transport patients in need of medical care.
Plaque from American Legion Post 77 in Conyers, Georgia, detailing the many lives of the helicopter flown by COL Snyder. It was grounded after 11,405 aircraft hours. Photo courtesy of COL Snyder. 
The legacy of COL Snyder and every Dustoff pilot, medic, and crew member, is “courage above and beyond the call of duty,” according to Gen. Creighton Abrams, Army Chief of Staff from 1972 to 1974.ii Whether a service member was being rescued from enemy fire or a patient was on a routine hospital transport, these Hueys signified patients were not forgotten and would not be abandoned, no matter the risk. As Major Charles Kelly infamously said, Dustoff would only withdraw “When I have your wounded.”iii While being fully exposed to enemy fire in the air, medical air evacuation crews were so efficient that in most cases, within 35 minutes of being wounded, a soldier would be in a hospital receiving medical care. COL Snyder said, “I got to live with soldiers who knew no fear—soldiers who put saving lives ahead of their own safety.”iv In Vietnam, the Dustoff crews proved their effectiveness and “became the most revered and effective battlefield operating system in Vietnam, with close to 1 million souls rescued and unprecedented survival records.”v

Humbly, COL Snyder insists that the story he tells is not about himself. His experiences help preserve the legacy of every American servicemember who has shown courage above and beyond the call of duty and to honor the ones who were lost. COL Snyder’s story captures the experiences of brave men and women of the Army’s medical evacuation crews who run into danger to save another so selflessly. Medical evacuation and planning have been rewritten in history because of the success of Dustoff operations in Vietnam. Strategic planning of assets to reach the wounded as quickly as possible placed patient priority at the top. 
Archangel DUSTOFF crews landing at Fort Sam Houston. Photo by Jose E. Rodriguez, MEDCoE Public Affairs.
In January 2022, the AMEDD Museum and AMEDD Museum Foundation hosted “Archangel Dustoff” Air Ambulance Company from the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment in Fort Carson, Colorado. After they landed on the parade field at Fort Sam Houston, they toured the museum and were able to learn more about their own legacy and visit the DUSTOFF memorial and exhibit displays. 1SGT Justin Cauthen said, “Teaching Archangel DUSTOFF about its legacy is the absolute bedrock of maintaining pride in purpose, pride in unit and pride in self. I am truly thankful for today.”

The AMEDD Museum and AMEDD Museum Foundation are proud to continue teaching servicemembers about the importance of their history and how history creates a heritage to inspire the next generation towards greatness. 
George Wunderlich, the AMEDD Museum Director, gives a tour about the history of the AMEDD to the Archangel DUSTOFF team. Photo by Jose E. Rodriguez, MEDCoE Public Affairs.
Soldiers from Archangel DUSTOFF stand in front of MAJ Kelly’s jacket and the DUSTOFF exhibit in the Modern Gallery at the AMEDD Museum. Photo by Jose E. Rodriguez, MEDCoE Public Affairs.
Soldiers were treated to a special visit to collections storage to see the flight helmet of SGT William Fox who survived a shot by enemy fire that grazed his helmet. Photo by Jose E. Rodriguez, MEDCoE Public Affairs.
i “Remembering Vietnam-Merle Snyder – Circulating Now from NLM.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 25 Apr. 2018, https://circulatingnow.nlm.nih.gov/2018/04/25/remembering-vietnammerle-snyder-2/.

ii Brady, Patrick H. “The Decline of Dustoff.” The American Legion, 20 June 2013, https://www.legion.org/magazine/216261/decline-dustoff.

iii “Major Charles L. Kelly.” DUSTOFF Association. https://dustoff.org/major-charles-l-kelly/. iv “Remembering Vietnam-Merle Snyder – Circulating Now from NLM.” v Brady. “The Decline of Dustoff.”
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