VETERANS HELPING VETERANS
Members of Texarkana, Texas, Chapter 278 hosted the
chapter’s sixth annual Veterans Information Fair at the
local American Legion post on May 21, Armed Forces Day. On
hand were representatives from the VA Medical Center in
Shreveport, the VA Outpatient Clinic in Texarkana, and the
Texarkana Vet Center, along with representatives from the
Texas Veterans Land Board, Texas Work Force, the Social
Security Administration, and the American Red Cross. The
chapter also will conduct a voter registration drive for
Arkansas and Texas residents.
Central Georgia Chapter 946
in Forsyth, which received its VVA charter last November,
has hit the ground running. Chapter members have raised
funds to help a local National Guard unit serving in Iraq
and joined with members of Chapter 443 in Macon and the
Georgia State Council in raising funds for a Chapter 443
member who lost his house. “We will never forget our
brothers in arms,” said chapter member Mike Lewis.
Mike Demske, president of
Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, Chapter 731, took part in his
first two-day Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Board
meeting in April. “It was really nice to see about seventy
people all working for the betterment of Wisconsin
veterans,” he said. And chapter members took part in the
day-long Education Day at Lincoln High School on April 15.
Bergen County Chapter 800 in
East Rutherford, New Jersey, co-sponsored a Pancake
Breakfast at the Waterfront Cafe on April 17 to benefit the
families of Army National Guard troops deployed from Teaneck
Tampa Bay, Florida, Chapter
787 raised $619 during its two-day Poppy Drive in February.
Chapter members Bud Ortelt, Jim LaGarde, Tom Damm, Ron
Schott, Dale Wagner, Carl Harris, and John Tollinchi sold
patriotic ribbons, car magnets, and poppy flowers outside a
local Publix store.
St. Paul, Minnesota, Chapter
320 ran the concession at the 2005 Forest Lake Ice Fishing
Contest and netted $5,500. The effort marked the chapter’s
most successful fund-raising effort, a tribute to the hard
work of members, AVVA members, chapter scholarship
recipients, and friends of the chapter who made up the sales
crew. Chapter member Tom Dunne, a Command Sergeant Major in
the Army Reserves who served for 30 months in Vietnam, was
called to active duty in February. He is serving as a
coordinator of military and civilian disaster relief for
Fred Buhler, a member of
Grass Valley, California, Chapter 535, was honored for his
work as a civilian adviser in Iraq by the Nevada County
Board of Supervisors. Buhler, a retired international
banker, went to Iraq in April 2003 and helped establish a
Central Bank with the aid of local officials and advisers.
When he came home, Buhler founded Nevada County Friends of
the Military to help support overseas service personnel and
At their March meeting,
members of Tonawanda, New York, Chapter 77 heard a program
presented by LTC Hugh Van Roosen and other members of the
U.S. Army Reserve’s 402nd Civil Affairs Battalion, which is
based in Tonawanda. The program consisted of a look at the
402nd’s tour of duty in Iraq from December 2002 to April
2004. The unit took part in the restoration of public
facilities, communications, and governmental services, and
helped provide humanitarian assistance.
Chapter 751 in Lawton, Oklahoma, is involved in several
ongoing community- service projects. That includes
collecting children’s shoes—more than a hundred pair so
far—for a school being built in Iraq by the Tennessee Army
National Guard’s 278th Regimental Combat Team. Chapter
members regularly attend homecoming ceremonies at nearby Ft.
Sill, mainly for troops returning from Southwest Asia who
serve with the Arkansas National Guard. “There are a lot of
soldiers from other areas of the country, and it is too far
for their families to come to Ft. Sill to meet them,”
Chapter First Vice President Billy R. Nash said, “and they
are very grateful that other veterans are there to meet
them. Whether it is two o’clock in the morning or
mid-afternoon, there are several members of Chapter 751
Chapter 616, the Thomas Davis Memorial Chapter at Mansfield
Correctional Institution in Ohio, presented a $500 check to
the Relay for Life late last year. The money will help with
a breast-cancer awareness campaign. The chapter also is
co-sponsoring a POW/MIA remembrance at the Cleveland Indians
game September 16 at Jacobs Field.
Members of Wisconsin Rapids,
Wisconsin, Chapter 101 took part in their thrice-yearly
(spring, summer, and fall) Adopt-A-Highway Program on May 7.
Members helped clean up along a local highway right-of-way
with members of another local VSO.
San Jacinto Chapter 343 in
Houston receives some 60 percent of its annual revenue, much
of which goes toward community service projects, from
concession sales it runs at Rice University baseball games.
The work is done by chapter members and other volunteers.
This year the group consisted of Carlos Uresti, Carlos
Chapa, Henry Rutledge, Ralph Seitsinger, Steve Jaffe, Wolf
Biedenfeld, William Brown, Dietrich Biedenfeld, Cathy Uresti,
Alonzo Chapa, Earl Bennett, Bob Hopkins, Jim Dennis, David
Chuber, Rose Martinez, and Gilbert Martinez.
The color guard from Rock
River Chapter 236 in Janesville, Wisconsin, marched in the
Beloit St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which was held March 13.
Following the parade, the chapter’s Funeral Squad held its
certification and refresher training.
Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has raised some $80,000
in the last seven years for the perpetual care fund for
the Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ypsilanti.
At its most recent fund-raiser at the UAW Local Union Hall
on March 19, which featured a silent auction and a
performance by singer and songwriter Michael J. Martin, the
chapter had a record crowd and brought in more than $6,100.
“Special thanks goes to Gary Lillie for bringing Michael
Martin up from Nashville,” said Chapter President John
Kinzinger. “This is a continuation of our commitment to see
to it that the veterans listed on our memorial will never be
Jon Tressler, Robert Brown,
Bob Emme, and other members of Rushville, Indiana, Chapter
889 helped the Rush County Veterans Memorial Foundation in
April in an effort to place new flags on poles that will be
flown on the streets of Rushville.
EDUCATION AND SCHOLARSHIPS
Members of PFC Bruce W. Carter Miami Dade County Chapter 121
in Florida recently participated in a veterans appreciation
event put on by the third-grade students at Cutler Ridge
Elementary School. Chapter President Bruce McManus gave a
talk on patriotism and past president Eppie Ortiz spoke on
the meaning of the Purple Heart. McManus gave the class a
shadow box containing four Vietnam War medals and a framed
copy of the Medal of Honor citation for the chapter’s
namesake, the only South Floridian who received the nation’s
highest award for gallantry in the Vietnam War. The students
gave the chapter a $300 donation, the money raised from a
candy bar sale.
U.S. Army Special Forces Master Sergeant John L. Conley, a
member of Chapter 49 in Pleasantville, New York, began
active service in June 1967. His latest assignment was a
six-month tour in Afghanistan. Sgt. Conley, while home on
leave, recently spoke to students at Iona College about
political and cultural events in Afghanistan today. In other
news, the chapter in April awarded six $500 scholarships.
Galveston County, Texas,
Chapter 685 is selling prints of “Job Well Done, Brother,” a
drawing by a local artist whose best friend, Robert Spencer
of Texas City, was killed in Vietnam. Proceeds from the sale
of the $16 print are used to fund the chapter’s Robert
Spencer Memorial Scholarship program, which goes to
deserving seniors from all of the high schools in the
county. To order, send a check or money order made out to
Chapter 685 to Jim Rose, 4307 Winterbourne Dr., Pasadena, TX
Appleton Area (Wisconsin)
Chapter 351 recently received a $1,750 donation from Sam’s
Club in Appleton. Chapter President Leon Meidam said that
$1,000 will go to an area scholarship fund and the balance
will go to the chapter’s education program.