Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report
Chapter 616: Still
BY JOHN KOWPROWSKI, CHAIR
Joe Jennings comes to the committee
from the Buckeye state of Ohio where he serves as the executive
director of the State Council. Two years ago during a conversation
with Lee Fisher, Ohio State Council president, I expressed a
desire to have Joe on this committee. Lee, who has always been a
supporter of the committee, was so obliging that he sent Jim Doute
along with Joe. They both have been tremendous assets to this
Out of the dozen incarcerated chapters throughout the state,
Chapter 616, the Thomas Davis, Jr., Memorial Chapter from
Mansfield Correctional Institute, has set a standard of helping
the community within and the community outside.
Joe writes the following:
The chapter that I am about to introduce you to, though small
in numbers (23), has by example brought new meaning to VVA’s
founding principle: “In Service to America.”
The VVA Thomas Davis, Jr., Memorial Chapter 616 at Mansfield
Correctional Institute in Mansfield, Ohio, has continued to set
high standards with their projects. They continue to give back to
their adopted communities from one end of the state to the other.
These few paragraphs don’t do true justice to the effort and
commitment that these veterans have put into their resources, and
fundraisers. Their unselfish staff advisers are William Homer
(U.S. Navy Ret.), Randy Roose (U.S.M.C.), and Don Berry (U.S.
Army). Chapter 616 purchased 46 tickets from the Cleveland Indians
to take 36 children from the Hanna Neil Center and 10 staff
members to watch the Tribe take on the Oakland As in 2003. The
Hanna Neil Center helps abused children in Ohio. The chapter felt
this would be great therapy for these traumatized children.
In September 2003, the chapter received a second Letter of
Recognition from Ron Edwards, the Ohio Director of Veterans
Affairs, to acknowledge the chapter’s veteran and
In January of this year, Chapter 616 delivered more than one
hundred pounds of canned goods to the Joseph House of Cincinnati
for homeless veterans. Chapter 616 also donated $1,500 in
September 2003 to the Joseph House to help homeless veterans.
In February, Chapter 616 donated $500 to the Ohio State University
Psychology Student Education Program. With this partnership, we
hope to complete a study of PTSD and the veteran incarcerated.
In conclusion, the veterans of Chapter 616 are still serving.
Being an incarcerated chapter, the membership easily could have
thought of only themselves. However, this group of veterans chose
to think of their brothers and sisters instead. They believe in
veterans helping veterans, whether they be past, present, or
Since Joe wrote this article, the following newsworthy items have
come to my attention. After three years of not giving up, the hard
work has paid off. The Deputy Director of Prisons has authorized
every institution in the state to fly the POW/MIA flag. Chapter
616 at Mansfield Correctional will do so in a ceremony honoring
Keith Matt Maupin for his duty and dedication.
Chapter 616 has been awarded the Veterans Incarcerated Chapter of
the year and staff adviser William Homer was named Staff Adviser
of the Year by the Buckeye State Council. Both plaques were on
display at the Mayor’s Office of Mansfield for community