Our Chapter’s principal goal is identical to our National VVA Goals of “Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandoned Another”; and our goals are consistent with the National VVA goals “To promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam-Era Veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of Vietnam-Era Veterans.” Evidence is displayed in our Chapter’s activities and events for all present military men and women, all veterans from WWII to our latest wars, as well as to our entire community of Plymouth-Canton, Michigan.
Our following Chapter activities and events benefit the communities of Plymouth and Canton Michigan and these activities help to create a positive public perception of Vietnam-Era Veterans. Listed are more than 133 Yearly Events and Activities of VVA Chapter 528. Many events have dozens of photos. We have over 1400 photos which you can view from this page. Enjoy browsing through our photos!
Serving on the Anniversary Committee are: Co-Chair Doug Fox, Co-Chair Ron King, Susie, Al Dorey, Mike Dicker, and Norma. Check out the Program for our 20th Anniversary Celebration. Also, take a look at the brand new webpage 20th Anniversary Celebration. More than a two dozen photos.
Photo taken in Cincinnatti for his 716th Military Police Reunion. 716th Reunion Photo. From left to right: Moose, Tom Collins, Ray (from Australia), Bernie (from Australia), Larry, and Gary "Ouch" Boucher. Bernie is wearing the helmet that Ouch painted for him. Ray and his wife Sue along with Bernie came all the way from Australia to be at the reunion
The Flag Exchange was a big success. All of the flags from our original purchase are now gone. The chapter approved the continuation of the exchange program and we are now exchanging flags from our fourth batch of flags from CVS Flags. At the General Membership Meeting on Monday, April 13, 2009, the Members passed the proposal of purchasing 100 more Flags for our Flag Exchange Program.
The United States Flag Exchange Day on June 28, 2008 went fairly well considering our informational ad was run for only one day in the Sunday June 22, 2008 Plymouth Observer. It did not appear in the Canton Observer nor was it able to be shown on the community boards for Plymouth and Canton by Comcast Cable. I would like to thank those workers who helped today during the 6 hour event. Don Dignan, Jim Hodgson, Doug Fox, Gary Kubik, Ron King. Gary Boucher was there with Product sales and special customers Ron Dillingham, Jerry Thomason and Judy Thomason providing moral support.
The Flag Exchange was very successful. All of the flags are now gone. There is talk about doing this program again at a future date. Here is some information found on the identified website listed: Identified Website http://www.ushistory.org/BETSY/flagetiq.html
NOTE: Flags that are not made of cloth or felt are no longer allowed to be burned due to the material being identified as hazardous to individuals and the environment. Initially those flags were required to be buried but there is a recycle program available where 100% of the material can be recycled and used to produce new flags.
Bob Dew, Treasurer
Novi Theatre a special tribute evening to benefit the documentary film production Our Vietnam Generation for Michigan's Vietnam Veterans. Meet and greet gathering with hors d'oeuvres and cash bar from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pl.m. At 7:00 p.m. a special premiere of the stage performance "Dont't Be Cruel - The life and times of the King" performed by Max Pellicano. $100 per ticket donation. To purchase of tickets, call 248-869-0096 - Limited availability. Checks made payable to the Veteran Support Foundation. Incidentally, performer Max Pellican's brother was lost to the Vietnam war. This evening will be dedicated to him and all veterans of Vietnam. Check out the Flier.
On Flag Day Ann Arbor VAVS (VA Voluntary Service) will be distributed individual service flags, U.S. Flags, and flag brochures (provided by the Daughters of the American Revolution) to the inpatients. The Flag bases will be made by Pam Young, VAVS Representative. I will be giving the VAVS 125 pocket flags that were made by Aileen Fraser one of the members of VVA Chapter 528 Yahoo Group and Air Force Moms and Dads.
Ann Arbor VA Hospital Report
Vaughn Hull, Chapter Hospital Representative & VAVS Deputy Director - VVA
Chapter 528 once again team up with VVA Chapter 310 and members of Rolling Thunder on Tuesday, December 15, 2009 and visited the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor. Check out the many photos from this special annual event.
The Savalox Family (our favorite Plymouth High School Teacher) is holding a blood drive in honor of Chris Savalox, beloved Mother and Grandmother, who recently passed away. Please consider donating blood to the Red Cross on Thursday, July 1 from 1-7 PM at Canton's Summit on the Park. To schedule a donation, please visit www.givelife.org and enter "summitonthepark" in the sponsor code to sign up online. Or, email Beth at [email protected] or call her at (734)223-9358 if you have questions or need assistance in registering.
Terry Blumberg of Canton, MI attended our September 8th, 2008 General Membership Meeting. He told us of his personal story about his son Trevor, who was the first soldier from Michigan to die in the early days of the Iraq War. He passed out fliers concerning Blum's Landing. He and his wife Janet are using all of the money they received from the government by creating a lodge known as Blum's Landing. Read the article as it appeared in the Observer of Canton. Hometownlife.com.
Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church is proud to present Dearborn's finest theatrical presentation of the Boar's Head Festival. Performances will be December 12th and 13th. For ticket reservation call 313-563-4800 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Check the Flier for more details. Member Bill Boudreau will be in the cast.
Superbowl lanes Canton, bowling 2 games 9-pin no tap, pizza, pop, for $20.00 adults, $10.00 kids. There will be a raffle , 50-50 and t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale. You can bring teams of 5-6 people or we can put you with a team, let me know if you can attend 734-564-6768. This charity is for remembrance of Tim LaGrow's wife Judy who passed away about 8 years ago from cancer. Tim was one of the original 12 of Chapter 528. He has fund raisers in her memory each year.
The Fouty Foundation invides you to come bowl for our troops in honor of Armed Forces Day. Collier Lanes 879 S. Lapeer Rd. (M-24) just N. of Drahner Rd. Sunday, April 11 - 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information contact Gordy Dibler at 248-310-5689. Take a look at the Flier.
Plymouth High School Students is having a Bowling Fundraiser for our Chapter. Check out the Flier. $15.00 gets you 3 games of bowling, pizza, pop, and shoes. The Fundraiser is their way of saying thanks to all the Veterans!
The Canton Veterans Memorial Association is accepting donations for the Veterans Memorial in the way of inscribed brick pavers that will be placed in the walkway leading to the Veterans Memorial. One has three choices of inscribed brick pavers: $50.00, $100.00, and $250.00. All proceeds go to directly support the Veterans Memorial project. The lettering on the brick must be limited to no more than two lines of ten characters; spaces are counted as characters. Canton Memorial List of Names $50.00 donation form, $100.00 donation form, $250.00 donation form
Thursday, May 5 thru Saturday, May 7th
The Poppy Day sales are May 5th, 6th, and 7th (Thursday thru Saturday). There are four locations: Busch's Market (5 Mile & Sheldon Rd), Holiday Market (Lilley & Cherry Hill Rd), Dunkin Donuts (Plymouth, I-275 & Ann Arbor Rd.), and K-Mart (Plymouth, Ann Arbor Rd. & Haggerty). All four locations are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. All sales times are two hour blocks, i.e. 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Here's our Link to our Chapter's Buddy Poppy Days.
John Fleming is once again helping organizing the Christmas Program at Burger School for Kids with Autism. This event is a lot of fun. The program starts around 9:00 a.m. and lasts until 2:00 p.m. For more info contact Chairman John Fleming. Take a look at a couple of photos taken at this yearly event.
The Burger School for Kids with Autism (30922 Beechwood, Garden City MI 48135) (734-762-8420) "O Little Town Of Burger" Photos: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4. Our Chapter has been active with this program for several years. AVVA member Debbie Bradley is a teacher at Burger School and she helps to coordinate our activities at Burger.
All of our By-Laws, Documents, Forms, Department of Veteran Affairs Forms, and VVA Constitution (all) can be found here.
Joe Agius has volunteered to Chair our newest committee. The By-Laws Committee has the responsibility of looking at all of our Chapter By-Laws and Policy Letters and make sure they are current and consistent with the National VVA Constitution. Assisting Joe is Vice-Chair Bill Juchartz. Members of the By-Laws Committee are: Rick Ciaramitaro, Bob Cohen, Mike Dicker, Gordon Dorey, Gary Estermyer, Bill Hayes, Bob Lamoureux, and Rich Waldecker.
The Canton Community presents a Salute to Canton's Celebrated. On Sunday, May 3, 2009 VVA Chapter 528 received the Honor of being inducted into Canton's Hall of Fame. See the Program
Details of Canton Liberty Fest coming soon - see Bob Lamoureux
There were at least 150 people in attendance this year primarily due to the publicity about placing the engraved brick paver in the Memorial for USMC Cpl Jacob H. Turbett who was KIA Feb 13th in Afghanistan. Corporal Turbett's wife, mother and sister placed the engraved brick paver in the Memorial in front of the USMC emblem followed by a moment of silence to honor Corporal Turbett. The program included reading a Memorial Day Prayer by Larry Frayer, a military service veteran, the poem In Flanders Fields by Canton Trustee John Anthony USMC Retired, and Freedom Isn't Free by Mike O'Malley from the American Legion in Plymouth, the Honor Volley and Taps by VVA 528 Color Guard. With a storm approaching, we marched through the program in 20 minutes. The Canton Observer and WDIV covered the event. Check out our Web Page and photos from this honored event.
Jim Kimball, Don Dignan, and Ted Enright coordinate dozens of items wanted by troops serving overseas. 48 boxes were dropped off at the Post Office by members Ron King, Jim Kimball, Don Dignan, and Ted Enright. The boxes were off to support three groups: the Marines of G/2/2 Unit 73080 (a friend of Jim's son); Don's old unit D/2/16 1st Infantry Division and a nephew of Ted Enright who's unit is D Co. 5/158 AVN REGT Task Force Ready FOB Shindand APO AE 09354 in Afghanistan. Many members contributed cash for the mailing while many others brought it dozens of different items for the troops. Check out the following photos which were taken by Ted Enright. Jim Kimball & Ted Enright, Don Dignan & Ron King, and Jay Roberts & Darrell Bazman.
The 3rd Annual Car & Bike Show for Vets is took place on Saturday, August 7th, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Wayne Ford Civic League 1645 N. Wayne Westland, MI 48185. Take a look at the Flier. All proceeds going to those who served to Protect our Freedom. Check out the new webpage for Car Show 4 Vets.
On behalf of Re/Max Classic our service personnel and their families will be receiving free talk time. By donating old cell phones, chargers, batters, etc. for recycling, soldiers and families will receive calling cards. Check out our newest web page Cell Phones For Soldiers Check out the Flier and the Fact Sheet
Gary "Ouch" Boucher suggested to create this web page so our members may take a look at our Chapter 528 Products.
The Annual Chapter Picnic for VFW Post 6695 and VVA 528 took place on August 21st from 12 p.m. till 4 p.m. at the Post Picnic Area. Check out our Photos on our Chapter Picnic Web Page.
Bob Dew Chairs our Chapter 528 Travel Site. The site covers: Flights, Cars, Hotels, Cruises, and various Vacations. Check out VVA Chapter 528 Travel Site. For more information concerning our Travel Site, check out our newest web site Chapter 528 Travel Site
Charity Motors Please, donate your vehicle to Charity Motors and mention VVA Chapter 528.
The VVA Christmas Party Check out our Christmas Party Web Page. Take a look at the slideshow of the Christmas Party. A special thanks to Judy Thomason for organizing this fantastic event! Doors open at 6:00 p.m. There is n charge for VVA, AVVA, VFW, and Men's Auxiliary Members. There is no charge for the spouse (of guest) of any VFW member over 70. Children 12 and under will also be free. Spouses or guests that are not members will be charged $6.00. Appetizers and desserts to share will be welcomed, but not required. (If you choose to bring an appetizer, please have it at the hall before 6:00 p.m.). If you have a gift basket or something special you'd like to donate for the door prize raffle, please contact Judy Thomason. Please bring canned goods which will be donated to local charities. Even though the cost is free for members, please be sure to RSVP to Judy Thomason (734) 545-0184 before December 5th, if you are planning on attending as a count is needed for the caterer. A catered dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Take a look at the Flier. We need volunteers to help out.
Chapter 528 Color Guard will participate in the Annual Boy Scouts Blue and Gold Banquet
Our Color Guard is in great need for new members. Please, think about becoming a Member! See either Rick Ciaramitaro, Commander and Drill Sergeant or Bob Lamoureux, Deputy Commander for further information.
Part of our Color Guard were guests of CoAmerica Park Saturday afternoon. The Color Guard members that attended were: Frank Gilbo, Roger Schlee, Cornell Osier, Joe Agius, and Rick Popa. Photo One.The tallest member of the Color Guard was Richard Williams, a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, who was in the infantry on the Philippian Islands during WWII. Mr. Williams was also the flag bearer for Old Glory. See Photo Two. A young lady took pictures from the GM Suite, and shot a good one of the Scoreboard that was announcing our chapter as the official Color Guard. I know they left out the "Plymouth" from our name..Plymouth/Canton Chapter 528 Vietnam Veterans of America. See Photo Three. The weather held, and actually the sun came out most of the game. Also, the Tigers won with a walk-off homer by Johnny Damon. As my friend Don Dignan always states....."it's a great time to be a veteran"!!!
Monday, May 30, 2011
Members of our Color Guard will be posting the colors at the Canton Cup. For more information contact Bob Lamoureux.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
A couple members from our Color Guard will be speaking at a Cub Scout event. See Bob Lamoureux for further information
Bill Boudreau forwarded this message. James Craven a comedian out of the Metro Detroit area is currently putting together a comedy show to benefit the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund (www.fwsf.org). The show is on Tuesday, January 20th at 8 pm. It takes place at Joey's Comedy Club 36071 Plymouth Rd. Livonia, MI (734-261-0555). A donation of $10.00 gets you in the club. There's a great line-up of National touring comedians and local comics donating their time to this great cause too, so all proceeds from ticket sales go right to the fund.
Check out the photo of Jeffrey M Gyolai MAJ MNSTC-I DOIA opening one of our boxes.
Two emails that President Bill Boudreau received concerning the packages (the ones which were assembled at our October General Membership Meeting) we sent to our troops:
"I Just wanted to drop you a line and thank you and the VVA Plymouth for the package you
sent. We always appreciate letters, packages and words of encouragement from Great
Americans like yourself. We are very fortunate to enjoy the support of veterans such as
yourself and it is especially touching knowing that often you did not have the same
support when you came home from Vietnam. I am heartened that most Americans, even those
against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are now able to separate their dislike for the
wars with their support for the troops. I believe in our mission in Iraq, but make no
mistake about it - every last one of us here would rather be home with our families. To
tell you a bit about myself: I am an U.S. Army Major (Infantry and proud of it) who had
been in the Inactive Reserves for the last eight years. Last December I received orders
in the mail that I was needed in Iraq. I was activated in January at Fort Benning and
have been in Baghdad since early March. I am on 400 day orders and should be stateside
in January. I work in downtown Baghdad for the Multi-National Security Transition
Command. Our mission is to help build the Iraqi Army and Police. My section is working
to help develop the Iraqi Police Force. We are fortunate to work with a number of
civilian police advisors. I can tell you that most of the people our unit lost have been
police advisors. Most of the police advisors are former chiefs of police who put their
ass on the line everyday to mentor and train the Iraqi Police. Americans should be told
of their story. March and April were especially hard here in the IZ. We often had
multiple rocket attacks daily. Sleeping through the night without running to the shelter
was the exception. Unfortunately, in April a rocket went through the roof of our gym and
killed a COL and a MAJ. Both were U.S. Army Reservists that were activated."
Jeffrey M Gyolai MAJ MNSTC-I DOIA
"Hello Sir My name is SSgt. Bo Gray and I am currently stationed in Southwest Asia in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom. I am an Air Force Security Force Member. We
received a care package from you chapter today and I would just like to say thank you.
All the young troops really appreciated everything (the snacks did not stand a chance).
Well once again thank you and thank you for your service my Uncle and Grandfather both
served in Vietnam. Once again thanks so much its nice to know we are not forgotten."
SSgt. Bo Gray USAF/379 SFS Southwest Asia.
Darrell Bazman reported our 2010 Car Show was a huge success. The 2010 car show was finally put to rest on October 16th when Bob Paul, Bob Dew, and myself took all 90 boxes to the Post Office to send off to the troops. The cost of all the items and shipping was paid for by the Car Show itself. We had a good year I would say. It takes about 9-12 days for all the boxes to get to the Iraq/Afghan area. Also, at this time I would like to thank everyone, whether you worked or supported the show for making this project a great success. It's the people of this Chapter that make this Chapter such a great one to belong to. You should be very proud of yourselves. We need ideas for whom should benefit from the 2009 show so bring them up at the next general membership meetings. Again, THANK YOU ALL FOR THE HELP!! Check out our Flier or our Web Page Take a look at Hotrod Hotline Web Site which has a slide show of many of the cars from our Car Show.
I want to invite members of VVA Chapter 528 to a seminar at my church this Saturday morning from 9 AM - 11 AM. This is a follow-up seminar to the one presented in November by one of our church members who is a Clinical Social Worker LMSW, CAAC, who works as an outpatient therapist. Discussion topics will include: 1. Treatment Options; 2. Relapse Prevention; 3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This seminar will be very beneficial to people who are experiencing depression. For head count purposes, please call Rich Whipple at 734-751-2992 for sign up. It will be this Saturday, March 7th from 9 A.M. to 11 A.M. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, located at Ann Arbor Road and Gotfredson Road. I attended the first seminar and it was very worth while. I will be attending this seminar as well. Coffee, juice and pastries will be supplied.
4th ANNUAL DETROIT VETERAN'S CENTER WINTER CLOTHING DRIVE The 4th Annual Winter Clothing Drive for the Detroit Veteran's Center is on its way. The Detroit Veteran's Center is the Vocational Training Center that the Plymouth-Canton Vietnam Veterans Chapter 528 has supported in various ways over the past several years. The items to be donated are winter coats, gloves, boots, hats, jeans, sweaters, long underwear, slippers and blankets for both men and women. Please make sure that everything is in good condition and clean. Additional items that are needed at this time are linens, toiletries, used computer equipment and books. The box will be setup at the VFW in which to place your items. The drive will end on Sunday, December 13. We will deliver the items during the week of December 14. We will have our annual trip to Kohl's and the Detroit Veteran's Center on Wednesday, December 16. This is a change from what we had originally planned in order to get the best bargains at Kohl's. Our schedule for that day will be: 9am - breakfast Bob Evan's at Haggerty and Ford Road. 10am - shopping at Kohl's on Ford Road. 11:15am - picking up the clothing at the First United Methodist Church - Merriman and Maplewood in Garden City - 11:45am - leaving for the Detroit Veteran's Center. I invite all that can make it that day, and certainly you can meet us along the way. I will be at the Meeting on Monday to answer any questions. Thank you for helping and Merry Christmas - JohnPlease call me at 734-604-0227 or email me at [email protected] with any questions. Thank you for helping John Fleming
Bill Boudreau found a song called "Dinky dau Blues". I placed it on our VVA & Veteran Links Web Page.
An open invitation to all motorcycle riders. Please join The Dispatch Riders of Yankee Air Museum for a ride to the Grosse Ile Airport on May 22, 2010 for a fun filled day of vintage boats, cars, and the Yankee Air Force WWII vintage aircraft. We will be staging at Elizabeth Park in Trenton, MI at 10:00 a.m. and leaving at 10:30 a.m. with a full police escort into the airport with designated parking for our bikes. Elizabeth Park 202 Grosse Ile Parkway Trenton, MI 48183.
The Dog Tags sell for $5.00 for a single and $9.00 for a set of two. Add $2.00 for postage on all mail orders. The set must contain the same information. These tags can be used for identification of your child's school bag, or you can replace your lost set of dog tags from your military service. The tags can also be used for I.D. tags for your pets. The Tag may have up to 5 lines of printing and 16 spaces per line. Each box counts as a character (i.e. space, comma, period, etc). Use your imagination and be creative. The Dog Tags are available in stainless steel (dull and bright) or brass. This fundraiser will be an ongoing effort to continue to raise funds for our Chapter. Contact Dale Luebke at 734-395-5144 or 734-397-3909. You can also email Dale at [email protected]. Dog Tag Form.
Boy Scout Michael Pool of Troop 854 is promoting his community project. He presented his community project at our May 11, 2009 General Membership Meeting. His idea is to cell First Aid Kits as a Fundraiser to buy benches at Canton's Memorial. Pictured with Michael are John Kowalski, Chapter Org. Rep. and Brian Kingsley, Troop 854 Scout.
VVA 528 is once again offering an Essay Scholarship Contest to Chapter 528 Members, their eligible family members, and to Associates of VVA Chapter 528 (AVVA) Members. Contestants must be students enrolled in an accredited college/university pursuing a degree or enrolled in a technical training/vocational school. Prize awards are 1st Place: $750; 2nd Place $450; and 3rd Place $300. Awards are based on merit and writing skills and not on financial need. The program will be officially launched on July 11, 2011, at the General Membership Meeting at which time the essay topic question will be announced. Essays will be submitted from August 15, 2011, to September 14, 2011, and participants will be notified of the contest results on September 30, 2011. The top three winners will be invited to the VVA528 General Membership Meeting on October 10, 2011, to receive their prize money and certificates. We are encouraging all eligible students to participate and take advantage of this great opportunity offered by Chapter 528. Detailed information including eligibility, rules, and procedure and can be found at the VVA Chapter 528 website, www.vva528.org/essaycontest.html. The Essay Question will be announced at our July 11, 2011 General Membership Meeting and posted at the VFW and online on our Essay Contest Web page.
Dean Bell, Don Dignan, and Ron King 2011 Essay Scholarship Committee VVA Chapter 528
Fund raiser and celebration with Kelly Trudell and her band from Nashville. Take a look at the Flier.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
May 7th Fellows creek golf course, 18 hole scramble, cart, lunch before 1:00 shotgun start, dinner after,$60.00 person. There will be a raffle,50-50, t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale. You can get your own foursome or we can put you with a team.Let me know if you can attend 734-564-6768. This event is in remembrance of Judy LaGrow.
Chapter 528 is again sponsoring the Wayne County Fishing Derby. Check out the Fishing Derby Flier (updated) Every year our Chapter along with Wayne County Parks and Recreation offer residents of Wayne County (children 12 and under) the chance to fish for newly stocked Rainbow Trout. The location is at Waterford Bend in Hines Park. This annual event is one of the most enjoyable events of the year. Literally hundreds of kids ages 1 month to 12 years are allowed to fish for free without the need of a fishing license. These prizes are given to the kids from three different age groups. This event is usually shown on local TV stations. Chapter 528 donates $500.00 to help buy the prizes and to help stock the river with Rainbow Trout. One of our own members, Dave Reeves takes the largest fish caught and mounts the fish for the winner. Volunteers are needed to arrive by 7:30 a.m. The Fishing Derby starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 10:00 a.m. Then after about 15 minutes of checking who had the longest and heaviest fish per each age group, prizes our past out to the winners. The entire Fishing Derby usually lasts until 10:45 a.m. Dean Bell, Bill Boudreau and Tom Brown are once again Chairing this event. If you would like to volunteer or find out more information call Tom at 313-336-0192 or email Tom at [email protected].
Take a look at kids catching fish at our Fishing Derby 2009 on Flickr. Stormchasermike took the photos.
Check out our Flag Retirement Ceremony Web Page: Flag Retirement Ceremony. Photos from our "Flag Retirement Ceremony." Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5. Thanks, Gary "Bear" Kubik for the photos!
Charity Fishing Tournament for Michigan's Veterans. Registrations myst be received by April 1, 2010. Contact Bob Guenthardt at 231-723-3282 or visit www.visitmanistee.com/charityfishingtourn or www.tips-up.com. Check out the Flier and Registration Form.
Veterans living in Michigan are now eligible to get a complimentary certificate for burial space in a private cemetery in advance of need at no charge for the property. Read this Flier for more information. Check out this Flier to learn about the Conditions of the Veterans Program. This Flier explains the benefits of purchasing in a private cemetery. For more information contact Charles J. Salgat of Oakland Hills Memorial Gardens 248-349-2784. Mr. Salgat presented this information about the free service for Veterans at our February General Membership Meeting.
The annual Fish Fry Dinners will begin at the VFW on Friday, March 11, 2011. Chairing the event this year are Ron King and Carl Glass. Doors open from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. We will be serving fried fish, baked fish, and chick strips again this year. Fish is fried in peanut oil. Served with fish or chicken strips are cole slaw, roll and butter, choice of baked potatoes, french fries, or macaroni and cheese. Children portions are also available. Check out the Flier for details.
Calvary House, a Southfield based 501(c)(3), is hosting a Gala Event on Saturday, October 30th, at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. All proceeds from this event goes to support a number of projects that Calvary House does to support our troops returning home from Iraq & Afghanistan, and veterans from other conflicts. More information on Calvary House can be found on their website at: Calvary House or see the Flier. Tim Wirkus, Secretary Southfield Veterans' Commission www.southfieldvets.org
All Golden Corral Restaurants are offering a free buffet on Monday, November 17 from 5:00 P.M. to close in honor of Veterans Day. All Veterans are welcome! There is always a 15 percent discount to Veterans. Thanks, Gary "Ouch" Boucher for the information!
Golf Outing at Rolling Meadows Golf Course. All are welcomed - Men & Women. 18 hole scramble sponsored by the Men's VFW Auxiliary 6695. Golf course is located on Sutton Rd. off N. Territorial. Take a look at the Flier.
VVA Chapter 528 and VFW Post are collecting money in our "Goody Boxes". The purpose of this collection is to support Kim Skelton and her work for 100 Marines.
"Currently, I support a unit consisting of 100 Marines in Iraq along with a few other
individual Marines in Iraq, Afghanistan and Okinawa. One of the Marines is a 2010
Northville High School Graduate stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Care Package items:
Holiday cards, letters, disposable razors, shave cream, foot powder (GoldBond Max
Strength), baby wipes, liquid hand sanitizer, Carmex lip balm, sun block SPF45, Clorox
Disinfecting Wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, deodorant, Skin So Soft (works
as insect repellant), Q-tips, soap, shampoo, cream rinse, "extra firm" hairspray, gel,
female hygiene products (and Midol), feminine body products (shower foam, good lotions
and moisturizers, facial products), On The Go (water flavor packets), Gatorade dry mix,
hard candy (no chocolate), gum, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, cookies (no chocolate or
home-baked goodies), beef jerky, Slim Jims, gum, Easy Mac, packets of tuna, chicken,
etc., protein bars, pasta/noodles/spaghetti-os/ravioli/etc. (microwave-safe bowls or
pop-top cans), pens/pencils/candy/gum etc. (to give to children)."
Veteran U.S.M.C. 734.459.7009 [email protected]
Gentlemen, this should be a blast event. See Flier. The proceeds all go to good Veterans help organizations to help them keep up their work, one of which is our Operation Never Forgotten (www.operationneverforgotten.org). If you like Rock & Roll, this will be fun. I attended one they had last year on a smaller scale. The music was very good and many folks dressed in period clothes. I would like your help in advertising and spreading the word of this for us, if you would/could. Thank you in advance. John Kinzinger
VVA members Gary "Bear" Kubik, Gary Pritchard, and Al & Elaine Cane took part in the Highland Games At Greenmeade. Take a look at Gary Pritchard wearing kilts. Also wearing kilts are Elaine and Al Cane
Take a peek at our Chapter back in 1989. History of our Chapter.
With the holidays approaching and the e-mail beginning to circulate, I wanted to remind everyone that Walter Reed Army Medical will not accept cards addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier". If not addressed to a specific soldier at Walter Reed, they won't receive it. "The American Red Cross is sponsoring a national "Holiday Mail for Heroes" campaign to receive and distribute holiday cards to service members and veterans both in the United States and abroad." All cards must be postmarked no later than December 10. Cards should not be mailed or delivered to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.If you'd like to send holiday greetings, please send to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD. 20791-5456
Thanks! Carl Shefferd for forwarding this email to our membership.
Nancy A. Hineman, Community Liaison, spoke at our May 11th General Membership Meeting. Check out their Flier. Nancy A. Hineman 13407 Farmington Rd. Suite 206 Livonia, MI 48150 734-266-9240 or cell 734-502-4935.
The V.F.W. will be having a "Jack and Jill" pool tournament on Sunday, March 22 at 1 PM Only 30 people, 15 men and 15 women at ten dollars each to include SOS made by Marion. Should be fun, sign up now!
We meet at 8:30 a.m. at our usual place. For more information contact Rich Whipple.
September 14-18, 2011
Check out our Kokomo Reunion 2011 Web Page.
Photos of Kokomo 2010 Just some of the photos. More photos will be posted as members send them to me! I was proud to be the FNG and be able to carry the US FLAG. Thanks for the tips ($.36 - 2 carrots, bottle cap, napkin, and used portion of a paper plate) during my accordion playing. By the way, some of you can actually carry a tune - even after you had a few!
Special Slide Show at Kokomo
If you go to this web site, www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a member of the armed services that is currently serving in Iraq.
The Lyman Golf Outing is Saturday, August 8 at Hickory Creek. See John Fleming for more information.
Chapter 528 participated at our most productive event of the year - Main Street Car Wash. Take a look at our new Photos for 2011. Co-Chairs Don Dignan and Gary "The Bear" Kubick would like to thank all who participated!
Buyers & Sellers! Have Stuff - Wan't Stuff or Just Need New Stuff? The VFW Mayflower-Gamble Post 6695 located at 1426 Mill St. Plymouth, MI will be holding a Man to Man Sale. Tables inside $20.00 Tables Outside $15 - $10. Take a look at the Flier, or This Flier, or contact Dennis Bielskis at 248-486-0001 or [email protected]
14 members of the color guard were honored to be a part of the funeral procession for Marine Cpl. Jacob Turbett of Canton whose remains were returned from Afghanistan where he was killed. Our color guard as well as those from the VFW and the American Legion and the Patriot Guard were at Willow Run airport when his plane landed. An honor salute was given as the Marines moved his casket from the plane to the hearse. The procession then made its way under police escort from the airport to the Griffin Funeral Home on Ford Road in Canton. Considering the inclement weather it was amazing to see the large crowds who lined the roadways with American flags. The Canton Fire Dept. also had a huge American flag stretched across Canton Center Road (see photo). It brought a tear to everyone eye and we were very proud to be there for the Turbett family. He will be buried in Arlington Cemetery. Check out the photos from the Observer Newspaper: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6, Photo 7, and Photo 8.
Photos of Marines, courtesy of Bob Dew, opening up their "Care Packages" that Chapter 528 help finance for Kim Skelton from the Marine Corps League. Photo One Photo Two. Marine Michael Beahon (left side of photo), is thankful for receiving a care package from the Marine Corps League. Chapter 528 donated $250 at our General Membership Meeting in March to the MCL Northwest Detachment 162. In his email he thanked Kim and Chapter 528 for our donation. Michael is serving his second tour in Iraq and is the son of a good friend of member Dean Bell.
At our April General Membership Meeting, 2011 Chapter Members of the Year Awards were presented. Bill Boudreau was chosen Executive Board Member of the Year, Joe Agius Board Member of the Year, Dennis Bielskis Chapter Member of the Year, Color Guard Member of the Year, and Aggie Little AVVA Member of the Year. Judy Thomason received a special award as "Outstanding Assistance & Service Award". Congratulations to all our Members of the Year!
We had a great turn-out for our Annual Memorial Day Parade in Plymouth. VVA Chapter 528 were at the front of the Parade. A Special Memorial Day Service followed the Parade. Take a look at our Memorial Day Web Page Recent Photos
Immediatedly following the Liberty Fest Parade. Chapter members had our 4th Annual Memorial Run at Rural Hill Cemetery in Northville. They visited the grave of our departed brother, Larry Jarvis. After the Ceremony, Chapter members were invited to the Jarvis home for a get together and food. Take a look at the photos from this event. Ted Enright was kind enough to take and send the photos. Kathy Jarvis, Ceremony 1, Ceremony 2, Color Guard 1, Color Guard 2, Color Guard 3, Photo. When you have time, check out our Remembrance Run web page.
Members of Chapter 528 on Sunday, July 13th attended the Annual Picnic for The Michigan Military Moms. The picnic was held at Dearborn's Ford Field. Chapter 528 members who assisted at the picnic were: Dale Luebke, Vaughn Hull, Gary "Ouch" Boucher, Al Kerbyson, Norma Demerly, and Tom Brown Take a look at several photos photo 1, photo 2, photo 3.
The Michigan State VVA Convention will meet at the Double Tree Hotel in Detroit, MI (Ford Rd. just west of Southfield Rd. Chapter 528 and Chapter 267 (Dearborn). For more information contact Dennis Bielskis. Slideshow of the Convention.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
6th Annual Southeastern Michigan Veteran Training Conference Schoolcraft College. Check out the Flyer.
Military Humor Joe Agius sent this page out!
Gary "Ouch" Boucher brought up to my attention that our web site has forgotten an important event that our organization has participated in the past. Go to The Moving Wall. A special thanks to the following members for their photos: Cheryl Martin, Loren Roberts, Gary "Ouch" Boucher, Bill Boudreau, "Bear" Kubick, Dick O'Hare, Bob Paul, and Debby!
The Mustang Owners Club of Southeastern Michigan proudly presents the 22nd annual Mustant Memories 2010 All Ford Car Show and Swap. Ford World Headquarters 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Check out the 2-page Flier.
Vietnam Veterans of America National Convention Reno, Nevada, August 17-20, 2011
Bill Boudreau's Report of VVA National Convention - Reno, NV
Being selected to replace an elected Chapter 528 as a national convention delegate who could not attend was both an honor and a challenge as I had other duties at the Convention. The convention has and does have a great approach to understanding Vietnam veteran’s concerns and attitudes. In addition to the general sessions that all delegates attended, I attended the Vietnam Veteran’s of America Resolutions Committee Meeting, and Represented Chapter 528: The Convention Opening Ceremony. The Constitutional Resolutions Committee Meeting. The Region 5 “Talk to The Delegates” were with Delegates from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and of Course Michigan Chapters talked and questioned from VVA. The second Region #5 meeting to listen to remaining 2 out of 3 Candidates and discuss the best suggestions to vote for candidates, and remaining issues and Resolutions. I attended the final Convention Floor issues and lectures from the J-PAC organization for recovering ALL MILITARY MISSING for ALL sides with Vietnam, Japan, Europe, and Korea- Councilor Of Vietnam and Retired Army General headed this project and they have had a good success recovering remains of both sides. I also attending the Closing Ceremony that ended the Convention. My wife and I attended the Awards Banquet Saturday evening and The VVA Honored Johnny Rivers & Mickey Jones, Vickie Lawrence, Gloria Loring, for their USO Tours to Nam. Author Diana Dell MC’d by Pat Sajak by Video feed. A nice speech by Re-Elected President John Rowan and wonderful Band: The Groove Thang. The Resolutions Committee Highlights: 1. The resolutions to change wording in VVA Constitution: form should include an AVVA Member on Chapter Boards of Directors NON-Voting status. To WILL include an AVVA Member, after application and paperwork filed. 2. The resolution to: Reduce the National Board of Directors from 24 to 18. 3. Committee recommends adding the words "email or other electronic means" after "in the mail" and "by first class mail". These resolutions were debated and scrutinized to almost boredom. But never the less, most would be brought to Floor of the Convention. I attended this with Chapter President Jay Roberts.
Following highlights at First Region #5 Meeting were discussed: 1. The Candidates answered questions and told the Region delegates about their qualifications, back grounds and experience and how they would see to the needs of The Vietnam Veterans of America and it's Membership issues and concerns. 2. After and between, various Chapter Delegates gave opinions and enlightenment to some of the Candidates. 3. A resolution instituted by Region 5 Member "concerning the Legacy of the VVA for future children, grandchildren, of Vietnam Veterans". 4. The issue of Modern Soldiers and where do they go for help. Highlights of the Region 5 2nd meeting Thursday August 18th. 5. The delegates heard from the two out of three remaining Candidates Running for Office and with the rest of the Region we discussed all The candidates and remaining resolutions with the idea of an informed way to vote at each delegates discretion. 6. We also discussed the Region and how things can improve, such as Communications.
Friday, August 19th at beginning at 8 a.m. voting began. Saturday August 20th at 8a.m. another Election of Region Directors had to be instituted because a Candidate had been left off the Ballot. The Election was only for Region Directors.
This of course brings to Closing Ceremony and the end of the 15th National Convention in Reno Nevada. Amongst my many other responsibilities I had at the Convention it was still a pleasure to represent the Chapter and work with the Delegates that were elected to attend: Jay Roberts, Bob Dew, Tom Brown, & Ron King I do hope that I was able to guide the two F.N.G s at least a little.
Bob Dew, Delegate VVA National Convention Reno, NV.
As an elected delegate to the 15th Annual Vietnam Veterans of America National convention, I would like to thank our VVA 528 membership for that opportunity. Through the years I have attended many informative business meeting, sales presentations and hardware/software Expos and the national convention was comparative in size. As far as starting times I believe many thought they were in the military again although the actual start of meetings were not too far off target. I did notice there was too much talking in the general sessions showing some disrespect to those fellow members wanting to express their opinion.
My portion of our report has to cover the processing of amendments. The full delegation reviewed five (5) new amendments submitted this year. Forty Five (45) proposed amendments that had been reviewed by committee and recommended for passage and seventeen (17) recommended for closure. As I understand the process new amendments are to be submitted to the National Convention Committee 120 days prior to the next National Convention. They need to be identified if endorsed by a chapter, endorsed by a state council and endorsed by the conference of state council presidents (Yes/No). If the National delegation approves the amendment to move forward the National Officers will assign the amendment to a committee for review and recommendations on how we as an organization can fulfill the amendment. This would include keeping pressure on congress for implementation. Amendments are kept open and followed with Congressional Committees, VA administration until they are satisfied and closed by a future National Convention.
The full delegation spent one full afternoon and partial morning session going over each of the amendments offering everyone the opportunity for Pro or Con comments. At the end of each amendment review comments a vote was taken for each amendment. On the five (5) new amendments one (1) passed, three (3) failed and one was not reported out. On the forty five (45) proposed amendments forty four (44) passed and one (1) failed. The one failing had to do with adding a Native American memorial statue in Washington DC. We also had opportunity to review a few amendments that did not make it out of committee to see if the general delegation wanted to move any particular one forward. Chapter 154 had one worth moving forward but it was denied by the general delegation. I suspect that maybe because the meeting was getting long at the point in time. We also closed thirteen (13) of the seventeen up for closure as four were modified as remaining open.
Anyone wanting specifics can contact me or any of the chapter delegates to review amendments. All in all the convention ran smoothly with the best starting performance being the Elections and re-election (being the only event actually starting on time). I also attending the Open Forum for Agent Orange held Saturday morning that was very moving and informative identifying a need for all chapters to provide some local informative Town House Meetings covering Agent Orange. Vietnam veterans and their families have lived through the affects, challenges and struggles identifying, qualifying and linking illnesses caused by effects of Agent Orange on the human race. It is now our opportunity to provide public awareness about Agent Orange and the devastating affects that will be around or crop up in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh future generations of Vietnam Veterans. The government, military or veterans administration will probably not take on that responsibility once we are gone just as they did not want it identified in the first place. Respectfully, Bob Dew - 2011 National Convention delegate
Ron King, Delegate VVA National Convention Reno, NV.
Being selected to represent Chapter 528 as a national convention delegate was both an honor and a privilege. The convention is dynamic in its approach to understanding Vietnam veteran’s concerns and attitudes. Moreover, the executive board of officers, the issues committees, and their respective staffs are keenly focused on solving the myriad of issues that either directly or indirectly effect all veterans and their families. In addition to the general sessions that all delegates attended, I attended the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Government Affairs committees. Veterans Benefits was a deeply personal meeting to many veterans, and, as expected, the stories were mixed with successful VA claim awards, as well as with several “horror” stories of incompetent VA staff and facilities. The VA is fighting hard to erase the negative VA image. The following highlights were discussed: 1. There still are no clear guidelines relating to Blue Water Sailors claims issues, eligibility, etc. 2. The current claims backlog continues to grow across the country due to increased claims filings and low staffing levels! 3. The VA has stated that there are no plans at the present time to add more diseases to the current 14 recognized "presumptive" diseases. 4. A new "VETPRO" software program is available for VSOs to make claims filing easier to complete and to submit. Highlights of the VA Health Care Committee: 1. Since 1982, the VVA has been a leader in trying to obtain quality health care for all women veterans, especially in gender-specific treatment options and facilities. 2. All veterans have a right to expect the highest quality medical and psychological treatment at no cost to veterans for illnesses and injuries incurred during and/or as a result of military service. 3. VVA urges the Department of Veteran Affairs to establish a National Vietnam Veteran Prostate Cancer Protocol at all VA facilities to establish a comprehensive program to help with Agent Orange/Dioxin treatments, claims, etc. Highlights of the Government Affairs Committee: 1. As many as 20,000 veterans claim Hepatitis C and related diseases, however, they are unable to establish a service connection because of difficulties in establishing proof. VVA urging congress to acknowledge Hepatitis C as a "presumptive" disease. 2. VVA urges each state chapter and council to make themselves aware of the plight of homeless veterans in their state and communities, and to work to obtain housing and care for them. The 20 existing Fisher Houses, (privately funded companies working with VA facilities to provide quality care to veterans) are continuing to grow in the US.
Tom Brown’s Report of VVA National Convention – Reno, NV
President Jay Roberts, Secretary Ron King and myself left Detroit on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 to attend the National VVA Convention in Reno, Nevada. When we arrived at the Reno airport, we were enthusiastically greeted by women and men from local VVA’s, VFW’s, and American Legions. Hugs from the women and hand-shakes from the men. They made sure we were welcomed! We met up with John Riling when we arrived at our hotel. John brought his Michigan State Product Sales to Reno. John showed us where to register for our rooms and where to register for the convention. After unpacking we then met up with Bob Dew who had already arrived one day earlier. The three of us were able to register for the convention very quickly (2 minutes) and then we proceeded to find Michigan State Product Sales. Helping out at Product Sales were Bill Boudreau (Bill replaced Dennis Bielskis as our 5th Delegate), Mary Boudreau, Moe Swope, and two other Michigan VVA members Mike from Dearborn VVA and Ray Essenmacher (Michigan State Council Secretary). The Michigan State AVVA were also set up to sell products and several of our State AVVA women were there helping including: State AVVA President Nancy Diegel, State AVVA V.P. Betty Pike, State Treasurer Cecelia Essenmacher, and past President Penny Meinhard. During the four days Ron King and I helped out Product Sales as often as possible. On Tuesday night we all participated at the “Welcome Home Party.”
Wednesday, August 17th:
The Opening Ceremony started off with the Color Guard. We then were entertained by four singers including Kelly Trudell, who has sung at various VVA functions such as the Side Track Bar in Ypsilanti and at Kokomo, Indiana. VVA National Convention President John Rowan then introduced our Keynote Speaker, Richard Pimentel. By far the best keynote speaker I have ever heard and as a teacher I have been to plenty of conventions. We then found out that we did not win any of the four awards in which I had applied for our Chapter.
After the Opening Ceremonies all five Delegates volunteered to go to three different committee resolution hearings so we could be able to have an active part in discussion of all of the committee hearings. My three hearings included – POW-MIA, Membership Affairs and E.T.B.O. The POW-MIA Committee discussed two different resolutions. The first resolution concerned getting our U.S. Congress to adopt the POW-MIA stamp that was originally issued in 1995. The only thing different about this 2011 design was replacing the money value (.32 cents) with a “Forever” postage. This resolution passed the committee by a unanimous vote. The second resolution concerned with the possibility of strengthening our resolve about being even more aggressive of getting back “Live” POW-MIA’s. This resolution also passed with a unanimous vote.
The Membership Affairs Committee discussed how to be even more affective in making sure more Vietnam Veterans are aware of the VVA and how we have to be more aggressive in adding more members to our local chapters. I personally brought up the fact the National VVA Website is four years behind with the State and local Chapter locators. I reported that more than 50 percent of the URLs links to chapters were no longer available on the web and that more than 100 new links to chapters are not even listed on the National VVA Chapter locator. I also told them I reported this at the Louisville National Convention in 2009 and then again at our VVA National Conference in Orlando in 2010. The Chair said he knew that this problem existed. I told him the problem could be rectified with either the I.T. person deleting old links and placing new links or they could have a link to our Chapter’s website where I have placed all VVA Chapters with websites and Facebook pages and that I check the URLs out every month. Hopefully, the Chair will report this problem. I ended my discussion with asking the Chair how can we grow our membership when our National VVA doesn’t keep an up-to-date locator for possible new members as well as current members. And how can chapters communicate with one another when many contact persons and email addresses have changed.
E.T.B.O. Committee The first thing we discussed is E.T.B.O has changed its name to Economic Opportunities. We also discovered a few word changes within three resolutions. Most of the changes concerned the adding the word STATE after Federal. But besides changing the name the biggest change is: “ VVA calls on each state’s Congressional delegation jointly sponsor, no less than every other off election year a program in their states that brings every federal procurement officer for every federal agencies that does business within their state to train veteran owned business in how to work with their respective agencies.”
We then discussed what we need to make sure in our own state that returning vets be placed at the front of the line for employment and that instead of receiving minimum wage we need to change this to “A Living Wage” one which a single worker can support himself, his spouse and child.
Near the end of our meeting I brought up Lynda.com and suggested to the Chair that he check out this fantastic website. Lynda.com is the present and future of online video training for more than a 1,000 different tech programs including Word, Access, Power Point, Excel, Web Page, learning how to use a “Smart Phone” and Photo Shop etc. -programs which will give veterans and family members the chance to broaden their skills so they will have more doors open for employment.
Thursday, August 18th:
We reconvened our General session at 9:00 a.m. Our first guest speaker was Congressional Medal of Honor and Vietnam Veteran Paul “Buddy” Bucha. Our second speaker was Paul’s brother Ken Fisher who is chairman of Fisher House. The next speaker was Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers and a Vietnam Veteran. Our final guest speaker was The Honorable Eric K. Shinseki a retired general and Vietnam Veteran. He was the Army Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2003. He was chosen to serve again as Secretary of Veteran Affairs by President O’Bama and he told the crowd that our President is letting him be totally in charge of the VA. Secretary Shinseki reported many things, but what stood out for me was the fact that 29,000 homeless vets have been recently helped and by 2014 all homeless veterans should no longer be homeless!
During the afternoon session we began discussions on half of the committee resolutions. We were able to vote on more than half of our resolutions. Bob Dew will be reporting on these resolutions.
At 7:00 p.m. we attended our Region 5 Caucus that was chaired by Tom Meinhard of Michigan. The first 30 minutes we heard the last three people to be running for 10 open seats on the VVA National Board of Directors. Then for the next 30 minutes the meeting was out of control until Jay Roberts and Bill Boudreau spoke up and basically got the caucus back to the business of having the five experienced members who knew most of the 16 candidates to inform the rest of us about what their opinion was for each person running for office. We spent a very productive hour learning about all delegates as well as those people who were running for the four executive positions and for our own Region 5 Director.
Friday, August 19th:
All five of our Delegates voted early on Friday morning. Unfortunately, there was no candidate receiving a quorum of the votes for Treasurer – basically because there were three candidates for this office. We all had to vote again on Saturday morning. Friday’s General Session didn’t start until 10:00 a.m. The entire morning session was spent finishing up with the rest of the committee resolutions and voting on each. In the afternoon the entire time was spent on “Our Legacy”. Speaking up for our Chapter was Jay Roberts, who in my opinion did the best job out of the dozens of delegates who spoke.
Friday night we were entertained by a group of musicians who imitated The Rolling Stones. I could only stay for one song because my ears are extremely sensitive to loud noises – I suffer from tinnitus.
Saturday, August 20th:
Jay, Ron and I left on Saturday morning after we voted. Bob Dew stayed behind as well as Bill Boudreau. The only thing we missed was the Special Dinner and entertainment planned for the evening.
The VVA National Convention met this year in Louisville, Kentucky. The attending Delegates of Chapter 528 were: Darrell Bazman, Bill Boudreau, Tom Brown, and Ron King. Chapter 528 members Gary Estermyer and John Riling attended as Representatives from the State VVA Council of Michigan. Norma Demerly also attended as our AVVA Delegate. Dennis Bielskis attended for VVA Chapter 142 (Monroe) and Moe Swope helped John Riling with product sales. Dale Luebke was able to come and make Dog Tags for many Vietnam Veterans. Everyone had lots of fun but it was a very busy and informative week. Unfortunately, Chapter 528 did not win any of the four awards we entered.
We met and talked to Pat Sajak, Jon Voight, Linda West, John Phelps (Vietnam Navy Veteran who served in the Gulf of Tonkin and the father of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps). We also met and talked with Lt. Colonel (retired) Michael Strobi who volunteered to escort the remains of Chance Philips back to his hometown in Wyoming. HBO made a movie of Lt. Colonel Strobi's book/diary about bringing Chance back. It's called "Taking Chance" and it stars Kevin Bacon. The HBO movie has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards. All delegates were able to watch the movie and after its conclusion received a free DVD. Lt. Colonel Strobi brought his young son with him. Bill Boudreau and I noticed his son was wearing a Derek Jeter shirt so we gave the boy a Michigan Pin and told him that Derek Jeter went to The University of Michigan.
John Phelps, Chance's father, came up to Michigan Council Product Sales and Ron King and my wife Cheryl waited on him. After Ron figured out who John Phelps was, he informed all the workers (many of our own Delegates) that Chance's father wanted some merchandise. Naturally, we gave Mr. Phelps the pins and patches he wanted - free of charge. John Riling, Bill Boudreau, Norma Demerly, Ken Diegel, Ron King, Darrell Bazman, and myself talked Mr. Phelps into becoming an Honorary Member of Chapter 528. Michigan State Council paid his VVA dues for three years. John Phelps accepted to become a member of our Chapter - #192!
Each of our Chapter Delegates attended three separate meetings as well as attending our Region 5 Caucuses. The different Committee Hearings were: Agent Orange/Dioxin, POW/MIA, PTSD and Substance Abuse, Veterans Benefits, Veterans Incarcerated, ETBO, Membership Affairs, Public Affairs, Health Care, Women Veterans, Homeless Veterans, Minority Affairs, Government Affairs, and Constitution Committee. I attended the Veterans Benefits Committee, Public Affairs Committee, and Government Affairs Committee. At the Region 5 Caucus we were able to meet and question the 14 candidates who were running for the National Board of Directors. The results of the Election: John Rowan, President; Jack Devine, Vice President; Barry Hagge, Secretary; and Larry Frazee, Treasurer. The new National Board of Directors are: Marsha Four, Bill Meeks, Patrick Welch, Dan Stenvoid, John Margowski, Thomas Burke, Jerry Yamamoto, Sandy Wilson, Pat Bessigano, and Richard Delong.
During the Opening Ceremony Delegates were entertained by recording artist Michelle DellaFave and Actress Lindsay Bloom (Dingalings). Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore delivered the Keynote Speech. Heather French Henry, a native of Maysville, Kentucky, who has been an active veterans' advocate since winning the Miss America crown in 2000, took part in the Saturday afternoon autographing and book-signing session. The daughter of a disabled Vietnam veteran, Heather French Henry followed her father into the halls of VA hospitals for treatments, experienced his night terrors, and stood by his side as he recovered from severe post-war emotional trauma.
During the Saturday Banquet the VVA honored Pat Sajak, who received the Excellence in the Arts Award. In 1968, Pat joined the U.S. Army, and was sent to Vietnam. After a few months as a finance clerk, he was transferred into Armed Forces Radio and given the morning show on AFVN in Saigon where he yelled, "Good Morning, Vietnam!" for a year and a half. He finished his military career at the Pentagon in 1970. Acclaimed Hollywood actor Jon Voight also spoke during the Convention and at the Banquet. Mr. Voight won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a paraplegic Vietnam veteran in the 1978 film "Coming Home" and went on to appear in dozens of films and TV shows. His breakthrough film came in 1969 when he appeared in the critically and popularly acclaimed movie Midnight Cowboy. The film won the Best Picture of the Year Oscar and Voight and co-star Dustin Hoffman were nominated as Best Actor. On the Convention Floor Jon expressed his regrets at being caught up with the hysteria that swept our nation at the end of the 60's and into the 70's: "How sad I feel that our war heroes of Vietnam were not given a heroes welcome back then, and their suffering was unimaginable. So many American lives lost in vain, and no one hailed those that returned. Can we blame them for their bitterness? Our country turned against them." Mr. Voight was truly upset as he apologized for his mistakes. At the Banquet, I was able to go up to Mr. Voight and thank him for his honesty and told him that his sincere apology was one of the bravest things I've ever experienced. He thank me! Jon Voight was also honored by the VVA because of his work to get a National Day of Recognition for Vietnam Veterans. Mr. Voight helped convince the U.S. Congress to set aside March 28 to honor the Vietnam Vets. The House of Representatives and the Senate voted to designate March 30th (March 28 in 2010 - Sunday) to be Vietnam Veteran's Day. Here are the front and back sides of a pamphlet which was given to all Delegates at our VVA National Convention in Louisville. Front Side. Back Side. For more information see any of our Members who attended the National VVA Convention in July/August 2009.
At the Saturday Banquet we were entertained by the band called Wulfe which specialized in music of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Everyone had a very enjoyable night. I would like to thank the Chapter for electing me as one of your Delegates.
Being chosen to represent our chapter as a delegate to the national convention was an honor for me. Being chosen to attend the convention with you guys was truly an honor - you guys are awesome! The convention was exciting and packed full of activities, programs, and general good times. Indeed, it was an eye-opener to see the hundred of dedicated, no-nonsense veterans who are genuinely concerned for their welfare, as well as the welfare of future veterans.
It was refreshing to see the huge numbers of Government agencies, offices, and personnel who are diligently working to better Vietnam Veterans and their families lives. Also,it is encouraging to know that our efforts as veterans are not being ignored, and that a lot of hard work is being expended to decrease the amount of time that we have to wait to be compensated for injuries, etc. The three committees that I attended, Agent Orange/Dioxin, Health Care, and Government Affairs were extremely focused on finding positive, viable solutions to problems plaguing our veterans. I also saw dedicated and professional people at all State and Government levels eager to streamline veteran issues, and to stop the "lip service" and actually provide answers to concerns.
Finally, being a part of this massive convention and attending it with professional people like you is a very humbling experience, and one I will never forget! Thank you for letting me be apart of it.
Greetings All: As usual, I totally enjoyed myself in participating in the business of VVA at the convention. It's always so refreshing to exchange ideas with other VVA family from around the country. To be able to converse with "3peat President John", National committee chairs, National Directors and VVA staff is very informative.
The hearings I attended were; PTSD & Substance Abuse, Membership Affairs and Constitution. I heard Dr. Tom Berger and Dr. Tom C. Hall speak about the progress in the committee. Gordie Lane spoke about a Veteran's Diversion Program he co-founded with Peter Bronstad to better handle court cases involving veterans in Onondaga County, NY. The membership hearing turned into an 1 1/2 hour Q&A session as no membership resolutions or amendments were to be discussed. The constitution hearing was very helpful in reviewing the amendments for consideration. At the Regional meeting I attended in Moline, IL in May proved that those delegates were pretty much in agreement with the National committee. I also attended the Legislative Affairs breakfast on Saturday morning with Bill and again it was very informative hearing questions posed to the VVA leadership and the main speaker, House Committee Chairman Bob Filner.
Being one of the 657 delegates was again my pleasure and honor. I am grateful for the financial assistance offered by the 528 membership. I believe all the 528 members who attended will share their experiences and offer suggestions to make Plymouth-Canton Chapter 528 even better and stronger. Reno in 2011 !!
Tuesday July 28th: Arrived approximately 3:30 p.m. after approximately 5 1/2 hour drive. Tuesday evening, after checking into my room, I went to the Convention Mall and delivered some requested items to Michigan State Product Sales, and than registered at the Registration Area without any problems. Went back to Product Sales and received my Michigan Council Kit, U.S. Marine 'T' shirt Viet Vet., 10 trading Michigan Pins and my Vietnam Service ribbon lanyard for I.D. Tags. All the Chapter Delegates hooked up and went to T.G.I.Fs for dinner downtown Louisville. With luck, I was upgraded to a Suite at no extra charge due to Hotel over booking. So with this larger room I had the Delegates meeting in my Suite where: Tom, Ron, Darrell, Gary and myself planned out the various schedule of times to go to Seminars, following Opening Ceremonies Wednesday morning.
Wednesday July 29th: Convention Opening Ceremony at 9 a.m. Posting of the Colors, Welcoming to Louisville, opening speeches by President John Rowan, and former Miss America Heather French, whose father is a Viet-Vet and she has made it her work to help veterans and especially Disabled Vets, making appearances all over the U.S.. Another main concern and recognition for this Convention was for our Canadian Brothers. Approximately 30,000 Canadians fought for America in American Branches of the Service. We received instructions on the working of the Convention, Seminars, Proposals, and voted on the Convention Agenda. With all the preliminary items out of the way, we were excused to go to lunch and then attend various seminars. The seminars we attended were: Agent Orange, POW/MIA, PTSD, Veteran Benefits, ETBO, Membership Affairs, Public Affairs, Health Care, Women Veterans, Homeless Veterans, Minority Affairs, Government Affairs, Constitution Committee. The others Seminars we (the Chapter Delegates) divided up to attend, at our meeting Tuesday Evening.
Thursday July 30th: Again had the Delegates return to the Main Convention Floor were the business of Proposals and Amendments took place. See Note book PROPOSALS AND AMENDMENTS for details. Many Proposals and Amendments were presented some with much discussion and a couple sent back to Committee for re-wording. Things moved along so well that we were extended the agenda beyond the 12 noon lunch break to finish for the day - approximately 1:30 p.m.. VVA President Rowan dismissed the Delegates for the Day. This is when Tom Brown and his wife and mine went to the LOUISVILLE SLUGGER Factory/Museum down the street in Downtown Louisville. During the Regional Meeting at 7 p.m. in various rooms the Delegates got to hear from all those that running for the various offices and what their stand on issues facing VVA today and what they will attempt to do if elected.
Friday July 31st: Morning began with the Election of Officers and Board Members for the National VVA. (this was all done by secret ballots in a room divided by Regions and run by the Kentucky League of Women Voters). 9 a.m. the Convention Floor opened to work on the remaining Proposals and Amendments that were sent back to Committee. Some proposals were with-drawn and some were discussed and voted on. The results of the election were announced to all the Delegates and the Delegates were excused for the day around 2:30 p.m. and excused from the Convention floor, because of the response for the "Blue-Eyed Soul" ladies (formerly known as the "Gold Diggers" for Dean Martin TV Show) who were scheduled for one of the smaller rooms had to change to the Convention Floor to accommodate people wishing to attend. At 3 p.m. we had a private showing of the HBO Movie "Taking Chance" with Kevin Bacon playing the Marine Col. escorting PFC Chance Phelps home for burial in Wyoming who was KIA in Iraq in 2005. This was a very moving story and I did not feel such a softy when everyone one around me had tears running down their cheeks. After the movie, we were quite moved when the real Col. Michael Strobl USMC and his son after receiving a standing ovation discussed a little of the making of the movie and his book. Kevin Bacon read the screen play and begged to play the part. Everyone that attended the three screenings was given a DVD of the movie.
Saturday August 1st: The day began with the "CLOSING CEREMONIES" and the tradition exchanging of the VVA Flag to the Nevada Delegation as 2011 National VVA Convention will be in Reno, Nevada. We then heard speeches by the Governor of Kentucky and a U.S. Senator in charge of VA Benefits, and a Senator from Kentucky on the committee for Veteran Affairs. We heard good news and many promises. An Increase in Veteran money and the Idea of the goal of NOT having any "Homeless Vets on any of the streets, of any of Americas major cities." We were than given the final charges of the "Louisville National VVA Convention" the closing of business and the ceremony of the "Retiring of the Colors". The Convention was dismissed and the formal part of the Convention concluded.
Banquet - Saturday Evening: 6:30 p.m. there was a pre-reception outside the Convention Floor that had been converted into a Banquet room. Our delegation cleans up pretty well and we were all set for the festivities at 7 p.m when the doors opened. Unfortunately, we could not all sit at one table but we were right next to each other at two tables. The Awards segment began with Awards to Linda West, author of Beyond the Rice Paddies, Jon Voight, actor for is years of work on screen but especially for his portrayal of a Returning Viet Vet in "COMING HOME", and I might add now a very good friend and ally for Veterans. Pat Sajak - TV Game Host "Wheel of Fortune" for his work in 1969 Vietnam with Armed Forces Radio. Mr Sajak gave several antidotes on his Vietnam Years and we heard several of his recorded radio broadcasts from 1969. John Phelps, artist and Vietnam Veteran who has done many Vietnam works of art and several sculptures. John is also the real life father of Chance Phelps the young Marine from the Movie "Taking Chance". Also, Lt Col. Mike Strobl - The Marine Colonel that lived, and wrote about and advised on the real life story "Taking Chance" from HBO. Again, Bill Nelson - Vietnam Vet, & C.E.O. of HBO was recognized for bringing us the story "Taking Chance" and giving us over 700 copies of the Video free to each Delegate.
SUMMARY: The Delegates that the Chapter sent to this Convention Darrell Bazman, Ron King, Tom Brown, were first timers, but they all handled themselves with enthusiasm, respect, and determination to represent the Chapter and State Of Michigan in a great light. I know Gary Estermyer (who always takes his Delegation jobs with the up most dedication) along with myself were re-excited by the others which made this convention experience something that will live for a long time. It was a pleasure to serve with these guys, socialize, eat, and work and listen. We got to meet their families as well to get to know each other better. Thank-you Chapter 528 for making me one of your Delegates.
My flight to Louisville was on a small Northwest/Delta plane which only had 2 seats on each side. Arrived at 1:40 p.m. at the Louisville International Airport and proceeded to ground transportation to get my shuttle over to the hotel which my pick up time was scheduled for 2 p.m. After waiting until 2:30 p.m. and watching various other shuttle buses to other hotels come an go, I called my shuttle service. They informed me that mine was on its way, and ten minutes later it arrived. Arriving at the Galt house I preceded to check in an got my room. I went to my room to check it out and then returned to the lobby to meet with other members an go to dinner. Several of us from various chapters went out to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. It was only 2 blocks away so the walk gave us a chance to check out downtown Louisville. The food was good. Back at the hotel sitting in the lobby talking and watching as more members from different chapters arrived. On Tuesday helped at AVVA sales/silent auction table and at product sales table until registration opened at noon. I had no problem getting my name badge an tickets for the AVVA luncheon and banquet. Opening Ceremony was very impressive and the guest speaker General Honore was really getting the crowds attention. I went to several seminars: By-Laws, Fund Raising, and Procedures. I found out that any changes suggested for the By-Laws must be on proper form and submitted 120 days before biannual meeting. There was discussion on chapters being incorporated even if there state wasn't. Also, about stand alone chapters having to be incorporated. There was also discussion on changing the one state one vote to one chapter one vote. It was also announced about AVVA being approved if interested to become service officers and to talk to Nancy Switzer. Fund raising needed to find out state laws if soliciting form required when contacting merchants. Ask for a donation or suggest a donation not price. Some fund raising Ideas are bingo, juried craft show, AVVA 50/50 raffle, bake sale, and place mats with sponsors on it. Also, cookbooks with recipes from chapter members and also coffee an cookies at rest areas. At our AVVA luncheon we had a former Miss America talk. Delegates had to decorate a hat for a contest. Madam Pres. Penny Meinhardt won with her hat decorated with things from her region 5 states. Finally the banquet went well, food and entertainment was great. It was a long week, a lot of walking back an forth between towers to seminars. Waiting on elevators! But it was for my first experience and an interesting one.
Rick Ciaramitaro presented a plaque from the N.J.R.O.T.C. of Franklin High School. Look at the U.S. Navy Plaque.
The Canton Goodfellows "No Canton Child Without a Christmas". Thanks to Nancy Spencer at 734-397-8975 and John Spencer at [email protected] for organizing this event. The following photos were taken by Ted Enright (2008): Photo 1 Photo 2 .
Operation Never Forgotten (ONF) bridges the gap between our military and civilian worlds by creating non-partisan national awareness advertising for our troops, veterans and their families. ONF has rolled out thousands of billboards from Times Square to LA, to include videos and signs in major airports and other media outlets. Creative communications projects by ONF stimulate volunteerism for all military support organizations assisting deployed troops, wounded warriors and survivors of our fallen heroes. Help us thank and recognize our troops and their families for their commitment, courage and sacrifices made to protect our privileges and freedoms!
Thanks to John Kinzinger for passing this fantastic link to us!
13 members from VVA Chapter 528 held a "Painting/Staining Party". The members spent four hours painting and staining member Al Kerbyson's mansion in Westland. The following members are pictured here. Back row: Bob Dew, Tim Curtis, Mike Steffes, Ron King, Darrel Bazman, Don Dignan, Mike Dicker, Jay Roberts, and Bob Lamoureux. Front Row: Al Kerbyson, Forrest Manley, and Joe Agius. Dale Luebke was taking the picture.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011.
Chapter 528 recognized and took part in the the 70th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Check out our newest web page which has photos from this event.
Carl Shefferd had a PGR mission to escort a group of Marines, the 1/24 Marine Heavy Weapons Co. just arrived home from Iraq. We picked them up at Detroit Metro and escorted their bus to Perrysburg, Ohio to their armory. Dave Codd road in his custom painted car. Take a look at two photos of Dave Codd's car: Photo 1 Photo 2. A of the Marines.
June 30, 2011
The Plymouth Community Band is having a special Patriotic Concert honoring Veterans at 7:30 p.m. at Kellogg Park.
Everyone had a great time at the Fall Festival this year. Check out our Fall Festival Web Page and view 20 photos taken by member Ted Enright.
On Wednesday February 11, the Chapter will hold a Poker Shootout in the VFW hall. Sign-in is at 5:30 PM and dealing starts at 6:00 PM. If you are interested in participating, give me a Don Dignan a call. If you just want to kibbutz, come on down. Bartender Darrell Bazman will be serving up the refreshments.
Point Man Ministries are headed up by Rich Whipple, Rick "Ricco" Ciaramitaro, and Ron Wroblewski. Meetings take place at Denny's restaurant on Ann Arbor Road (East of I-275). Point Man meets on the 1st Monday and 3rd Mondays of every month. Meetings start at 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. and take place in the back room, where privacy is assured. Point Man gives us all a chance to sit down and get things off our chest that we can't do with our family or neighbors. Like Las Vegas, what happens here, stays here!
Each and every year members of our VVA and VFW hold a Post Clean-Up! Many members showed up to do hard labor. This is the first year one of our members took photos of the clean-up. Go to our newest web page to see the 20 photos which Dennis Bielskis took.
Check out the photos from POW/MIA Recognition Day. POW/MIA Recognition Day was held Friday, September 17, 2010. POW/MIA Memorial Oakland Hills in Novi, Michigan (12 Mile and Novi Rd.). See the Poster.
Take a look at our newest web page POW-MIA John Spencer organized the annual POW/MIA ceremony in Canton, Michigan. Cheryl Martin and two others read the names of the fallen and missing military members from Michigan. At this ceremony were two World War II Veterans who are former POW's. John always does a superb job in organizing events like this. Thanks John for all your hard work. I thank Nancy Spencer as well.
POW MIA Report Allen Kerbyson, POW-MIA Chair
There are still 1,740 U.S. personnel listed as missing and unaccounted for from Vietnam War, and 53 from Michigan. Two listed as captured from Irag and Afghanistan. Iraq: Specialist Ahmed K. Altaie Oct 23 2006 and Afghanistan PFC Bowe Bergdahl Jul 19, 2009. August 02, 2009 remains were Identified as Navy Captain Michael Scott Speicher who was shot down flying F/A-18 Hornet over west-central Iraq on January 17th, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. Acting on information provided by an Iraqi citizen in early July, US Marines stationed in Al Anbar Province went to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Captain Speicher’s jet. The Iraqi citizen stated he knew of two Iraqi citizens who recalled an American jet impacting the desert and the remains of the pilot being buried in the desert. One of these Iraqi citizens stated that they were present when Captain Speicher was found dead at the crash site by Bedouins and his remains buried. The Iraqi citizens led US Marines to the site who searched the area. Remains were recovered over several days during the past week and flown to Dover Air Force Base for scientific identification by the AFIP’s Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner. The recovered remains include bones and multiple skeletal fragments. Positive identification was made by comparing Captain Speicher’s dental records with the jawbone recovered at the site. The teeth are a match, both visually and radiographically. While dental records have confirmed the remains to be those of Captain Speicher, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology DNA Lab in Rockville, Maryland is running DNA tests on the remains recovered in Iraq and comparing them to DNA reference samples previously provided by family members. Results will take approximately 24 hours. There are still 1,740 U.S. personnel listed as missing and unaccounted for from Vietnam War, and 53 from Michigan. Two listed as captured from Irag and Afghanistan.
Following are some of the recent recipients of dollars raised by Chapter 528 (chapter members also volunteer their time to support these causes): Tomorrow's Child (SIDS), Sew Much Comfort (clothing for wounded vets), Indiana Vietnam Veterans Reunion, Lyman Foundation (golf outing), Michigan Military Mom's Walk, Marine Corps Toys For Tots, American Diabetes Association Walk, Canton Goodfellows Christmas Fundraiser, Legion Riders American Legacy Scholarship Fund, POW/MIA Committee of Michigan, Marine Corp League Northwest Detachment 162, James M. Hannan Division U.S. Naval Sea Cadets Corps, VFW Poppy Program, VVA Chapter 310's Annual Christmas Party (Ann Arbor VA Hospital), Grand Rapids Veteran's Home, Jacobetti Veteran's Home, Michigan Veterans Foundation, Wyandotte Purple Heart Memorial, U.S. Army National Museum, Intrepid Fallen Hero's Fund (Intrepid Center), STEP (Students Expedition Program), Burger School for Autism, Salvation Army, Angel's Place, Adopt-A-Road Program, Girl Scouts (send cookies overseas), and Two Area Car Washes.
Help support VVA member Tim LaGrow in his effort by taking part in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, with a donation. As you know, Tim lost his wife Judy to Cancer 7 years ago, and his sister Karen 2 months ago, and his sister-in-law is battling pancreatic cancer right now but her prognosis is excellent. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives people in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Relay For Life raises much needed funds and awareness to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer. Please help support Tim in his efforts by visiting his personal web page to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation. Please, take the time to visit Tim's Web Page.
We held our 4th annual Remembrance Run to honor our deceased Chapter 528 Members and their spouses on Saturday, June 5th. We left the VFW at 1:00 p.m. and made the 1 mile journey to Riverside Cemetery to the resting place of our brother, Rick Diveto. Rick was a fitting choice as he was our chapter's founding president and this year is our 20th anniversary. This is a chapter event not just a color guard event and everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. We will be reading the names of all our deceased members and their spouses, have an honor volley and TAPS. Tom Brown took 11 Photos of the event.
This years ride starts at Screams Ice Cream Store in Hell! Ride to Cornell's Departs at 2:00 P.M. Sharp. So get there early and support Screams and the Damm Site Inn.
Dinner at Rose's Restaurant March 16,2010 for Blum's Landing Rose's Restaurant 201 North Canton Center Road in Canton, MI will be donating 15 percent of their revenue between the hours of noon until closing for Blum's Landing. Blum's Landing is being constructed by Mr. and Mrs. Terry Blumberg in memory of their son Sgt. Trevor Blumberg who was killed on September 14, 2003 in Fallujah, Iraq. Trevor also served in Korea andAfghanistan prior to deploying to Iraq with the 82nd. Airborne Division. Terry Blumberg is a Vietnam War Veteran and a member of Chapter 528.
North Wall Riders Association with the help of VVA Chapter joined on Sunday, July 6th, 2008 for the Annual Run To The North Wall. The purpose was to honor the Canadians that served with the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War. Staging took place at 9:30 A.M. at R.C.L. BR. 594-3920 Huron Church Line Rd. Windsor, Ontario. The Run departed R.C.L. Br. 594 at 11:30 A.M. The Memorial Service at the North Wall was at 12:00 P.M. Open House and BBQ at R.C.L. Br. 594 was held after services. The Michigan's Moving Wall was displayed at R.C.L. Br. 594 with pictures and bios of the 2654 Michigan Men and Women that gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War. For more info go to North Wall Riders Association or email: [email protected]. Phone: 519-973-5892 or 519-981-0709. The following are some of the photos taken (2008): Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4, Photo 5, Photo 6, Photo 7, Photo 8.
June 11, 2011
Our Annual Marching for Salem's Flag Day Parade. See Bob Lamoureux for details
Veterans Day Celebration "Salute To Service" takes place at Village Theater 50400 Cherry Hill Rd. Canton, MI - from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Dog Tag machine will be there. For more information contact John Spencer. Salute To Service Flier & Salute To Service Program. Contact Mike Ager @ 734-394-5192.
John Fleming once again organized our Annual Salvation Army Bell Ringing. It was at four locations. The main location is at Hiller's Market (Five Mile & Haggerty Rd.) 10:00 A.M. until 8:00 P.M.. Take a look at two new photos on our Salvation Army Belling Ringing Webpage. The three other places where were: Plymouth Post Office on (Pennimen Street) 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.. Krogers - (Ann Arbor & Sheldon Roads) - 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.. K-Mart (Ann Arbor & Haggerty Roads) - 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.. Sign up time is for one hour at all four locations. This Flyer has the member names and hours which they have already volunteered, while this Flier displays the times and places which still need to be filled.
Bill Boudreau and Tom Brown are trying to get service photos of all of our members, including AVVA. Please email your photos to either Bill Boudreau Bill Boudreau or Tom Brown. Include with your photo the following information: name, branch of service, and the year the photo was taken. If you are not able to email your photos then please send them to Tom Brown 17730 Snow Ave. Dearborn, MI 48124 or bring them to our General Membership Meetings. We currently have 61 members who have their photos in our "Display Cases" and our online Members' Service Photos web page.
Take a look at a photo of Stacey and Tom Brown of Chapter 528 from this event. Come out and enjoy the food, entertainment, and live auction for supporting our troops. VVA Chapter 310 is once again hosting their annual event of raising money for their Chapter. The event is to take place at the Sidetrack Bar and Grill located at 56 E. Cross Street in Ypsilanti's Depot Town area, next to the railroad tracks. Entertainment will include Stace Mason, Miss Michigan 1993, outstanding singer and violinist, and a 17 year long time friend of VVA 310 and Tom Brown, extraordinary accordionist from VVA 528. He can play most anything. All proceeds will go to support the operations of VVA 310. There will be a live auction and other things to help make this a most successful event. The event takes place from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thanks! John Kinzinger.
This Ceremony took place on Sunday honoring our Veterans' service within the community. It is at 3:00 PM at the Summit in Canton and includes a luncheon. Call 734-459-6700 or e-mail Gary Kubik [email protected] if interested. Take your spouse and attend.
We sold 2,714 tickets. The complete Winners List (PDF File) for our 2008 Sportman's Drawing or visit our 2008 Sportsman's Raffle Web Page. Take a look at photos from this event: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4. Thanks, Gary "Bear" Kubik for the photos!
Take a look at the photos of Al Kerbyson and Vaughn Hull taken by Dennis Bielskis. Dennis also took this picture. Unfortunately, only one national or state news service came to take film and photos of the event. Here is the only article to be published.
Since 1927, the State of Michigan provides appropriations to 11 Veteran Service
Organizations to provide the veterans of Michigan advocacy in retaining veteran
benefits. On May 5, 2009, Governor Granholm issued Executive Order 2009-22 mandating
budget cuts for the current operating year. Due to this Order, the Veteran Service
Organizations were cut 25%, while other only received a 4-5% cut. Why? This has had a
severe impact on the ability of veterans in this State to obtain assistance in obtaining
benefits as many of these organizations have had to downsize staff and operations. And
There is current legislation pending, Senate Bill 250, which will drastically change how
veterans in the State will obtain assistance in receiving veteran benefits. Section 707
would effectively eliminate the state appropriations provided to the VSO and create a
State Veteran Affairs Office. In this time of economic difficulties and budget cuts,
members of Congress wish to create another Department and add another level of red-tape.
At our May 11th General Membership Meeting, news about the state reducing financing
to the Veteran Service Organizations (V.S.O.) by 25 percent whereas all other
departments are being cut by only four to five percent. It has been recommended that
members contact their state
senator or state
representative. It was also suggested to call Richard LeBlanc at 888-737-5325. You
could also contact
Thanks "Ouch" for this
United States Air Force Off We
Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder
Day Free Meals
We are actively participating in helping our soldiers. At our June General Membership
Meeting we voted to begin a collection of items our Men and Women need overseas.
Magazines/weekly tabloids (hopefully no more than 2-3 or so weeks old) - any and all
even remotely related to any sport, guns, auto/motorcycle/truck, news, Entertainment,
Time, Newsweek, Saturday Evening Post, ESPN, People, pop music magazines, Popular
Mechanics, US, Readers Digest, etc. Donate yours and get them from relatives, friends,
neighbors co-workers, your church, members of organizations you belong to. Collect them
every 2-3 weeks and mail. Anything that appeals to males ages17-35 NO Playboy's, etc. If
you or yours work at or with a junior high or high school, there may be a library or
media center that gets these type publications as well. Publications geared to Black and
Spanish speaking soldiers are always welcome. Crossword puzzle books, inexpensive
shaving brushes used for weapons cleaning-brushing sand off weapons are in high demand -
they go through these often. Best to have mailed to you, unwrap box and re-pack just
brush with other items in your Priority Mail box. Hard candies-good ones, not those
cheapo leftover Halloween things - (go to Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco, etc. for bulk 1
pound bags) -Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, Life Savers, Wherthers Butterscotch, Brachs Party
Mix, peppermints, hard fruit flavored candy etc. Keep in mind it's now well over 100
degrees daily and will go to over 120, so bubble gum, chocolate, etc, will not hold up
in the mail. Snacks like Beef Jerky, Trail mix, Slim Jims, bags of Cracker Jacks, Power
bars, protein bars, nutritional bars, granola bars, gum in blister packs (won't melt).
Cookies: Avoid sending any with nuts. Store bought bags may be best if you don't want to
have fresh ones baked. Use a larger USPS box sending PRIORITY MAIL for more room as
packing requires using Popcorn or bubble wrap and wadded newspapers take up space. THE
MOST IMPORTANT ITEM is Mail, Mail and Mail - You can write a note or card(s). If you are
affiliated with a veterans group, school, scout program, church group, civic
organization, co-workers, your relatives and all their contacts, etc., ask them to write
a card with a message to our men and women. These men and women love cards from kids and
for some, as we recall mail call is a downer as they may not have a large support group
in the states, especially single soldiers. Handwritten and hand drawn cards from kids
are always a winner. Consider having mail given to you unsealed and review it for any
possible anti-war or suggestive line from a young females. From the 2-16 Family Support
Group. "A soldier in Iraq can't see your ribbon or the flag at your front door, but a
letter they hold in their hands to them means so much more". For handouts to school kids
- The troops get great joy in handing these out to kids, who have little school
supplies. Many office supply stores, WalMart, Staples, etc. have packs of 24-48-72
pencils and inexpensive sharpeners and erasers. If not they are often at $1 stores.
Smaller toiletry items - PX's run out quickly-travel or hotel size soap, shampoo, foot
powder, toothpaste and tooth brushes (check with you local dentist or dental
association) and nail clippers (can get small and larger sizes at the 99 cents and $1
stores). SSG Christopher A. Wiacek, C Co 1-405th FOB Warrior TF Red Currahee APO AE
09354 will act as our liaison for this project. The project will be an on-going
event not just a one time deal. Please help! & Thanks! Gary Pritchard
Vietnam Discussion at Plymouth Library
Check out the Veterans Day Flier. The Plymouth
Library in recognition of Veterans Day (November 11) and as an introduction to our
"Vietnam Perspectives" Series of History Programs is having six members from VVA 528
present their individual story concerning the Vietnam War. Many of our Members will be
presenting information. Presenter: Don Dignan, 1967-1968, U.S. Army, Infantry; Gary
Kubik, 1967-1971, U.S. Navy, Submarine; Bob Paul, 1962-1966, U.S. Marine Corps, Air
Wing; Rick Popa, 1969-1971, U.S. Army, Military Police; Dennis Shrewsbury, 1961-1965,
U.S. Coast Guard; and Rich Whipple, 1967-1969, U.S. Army, Airborne and Cavalry. Register
in person, by calling 734-453-0750, press 4.
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 528 Plymouth-Canton, Michigan hosted the "Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.
Check out our Chapter's
Web Page which has many photos from this year's Vietnam Traveling Memorial
December 1st - week of the 19th
Our 6th Annual Winter Clothing Drive for the Detroit Veterans Center will be held during the first three weeks
of December. A collection box will be placed in the VFW Lounge by December 1 and we will distribute the
clothing collected during the week of December 19th. All types of winter clothing is needed for both men and
women. The Detroit Veterans Center is vocational training center for homeless veterans. Contact John Fleming.
Supervisor Field Operations
Support our troops at Frenchies located at 54 E. Cross Street, next to the Sidetrack Bar and Grill which is next to the railroad tracks. Chapter 310 organized this fundraiser at the Ypsilanti's Depot Town. People listened to former Miss Michigan, Stacey Heisler-Mason, singing and playing her violin, singer Kelly Trudell, and accordionist Tom Brown, playing for attendees at their tables. There were nice auction items which helped raise more than $3,000.00. In addition to the auction, 50 percent of the total food bill and tips went to Chapter 310. 100 percent of all the proceeds from the event will go to cover postage to send Care packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. See a photo of Stacey and Tom playing and singing. Chapter 528 members present were Norma Demerly and her friend Gordon Baxter, Dean and Melanie Bell and their daughter Stacey.
Sweetest Day Dance at the V.F.W. $10.00. More information coming. Flier See Gary "The Bear" Kubick for more details.
Flyer for Texas Hold'em. Plymouth VFW Post 6695 1426 S. Mill St., Plymouth, MI (Between Ann Arbor Rd. & Ann Arbor Trl.) Doors open at noon - enter at hall entrance - game starts at 1:00 PM. $65.00 by in - $50.00 towards prizes - prizes out to 25 players based on 128 players. Each player gets $15,000.00 in chips - playing blinds. Lunch included. No limit betting - check & raise OK. You must be 21 years old to enter. $65.00 buy in payable upon registration at the VFW Post Lounge. Contact Gary (734)459-6700.
Every month Chapter 528 receives Thank You Letters from Troops, Charity Organizations, Individuals as well as many other sources. Check out our most recent letters which were read at our December 8th's General Membership Meeting. Letter One, Letter Two, Letter Three, Letter Four. We also received a Christmas Card from Tom and Penny Meinhardt.
From The Bear's Den: We have VFW Post 6695 T- Shirts that are blue with "PROUD TO BE A VETERAN" on the front and VFW Post 6695 Plymouth MI on the left sleeve. We have sizes large, extra large, 2 extra large. Your choice for only $10.00. To raise money, there is a sign-in book at the bar, it costs 50 cents a day. A members name will be drawn each day everyone knows the rest. Lounge hours are now posted and are from 2:00 PM until at least 9:00 PM on Monday through Thursday. Friday we will be open until at least 10:00 PM. Saturday we open at Noon and we will be open at least until 10:00 PM. Sunday from Noon until at least 9:00 PM. We will have a Chicken BBQ on July 4th, starting at noon going until 150 dinners are sold at $7.50. Fridays are for coney dogs. You have not had a great pickled egg until you get one at the bar for a quarter. Stop by our lounge! Watch the notices that will be posted behind the bar for such delights as coney dogs, soups, and other specials. Anyone who has had a burger here says they are the best bar burgers in town. The beer and the wine are always cold, so come to your lounge. We have birthday parties for small groups. The best "Octoberfest" will be the middle of October. How about a STEAK FRY? I am willing to try new ideas. If you have an idea, we can discuss it and try it out if possible. Joint ventures work. I don't sing but we can have a night with entertainment. Got your fifty/fifty five dollar tickets yet? Give me a call at 734-459-7600 or email me at [email protected]. Gary "The Bear" Kubik, Lounge Manager.
At our January 12th General Membership Meeting Vietnam Veteran John E. Craven II gave a ten minute presentation on the D.O.V.E. Fund. The fund is a non-profit corporation founded by several Vietnam veterans, Rotarians, and other concerned citizens in January 2000, in Toldedo, Ohio. Their goal is to provide humanitarian and development assistance to areas in Vietnam; to promote communication, education, and cultural exchanges that reflect the best qualities of both cultures; and to create an environment brightened by hope and sustained peace. Take a look at their Dove Fund.org. You can also call John E. Craven II at 734-676-6578 or check out his Web Page.
Ultimate Sacrifice Memmorial Support Center Joe Agius forwarded this fantastic online web site - Check it out!
United States Army Caissons Go Rolling Along
United States Coast Guard Semper Paratus
United States Marine Corps Marines Hymn
United States Navy Anchors Away.
Battle Hymn of The Republic Battle Hymn of the Republic
U.S. Navy Sea Cadets trip for Color Guard from Port Huron to U.S. Coast Guard on The Gray Fox. For more information contact Rick Ciaramitaro
Check out our Chapter's web page: Veterans Day 2010. Three photos taken at the event and published in the Plymouth Observer & Eccentric Newspapers: Photo One, Photo Two, Photo Three, Photo Four, Photo Five.
Chapter 528 members, wifes, children, grand children, friends, and others (59 people - 32 photos) traveled to Detroit to watch the Tigers play against the Texas Rangers. Unfortunately, the Tigers did not play well and got pummeled by Texas (8-0). But everyone seemed to have great fun. Are own Aggie Little even caught a baseball and when a heavy rain came our entire group was protected by the overhead. Check out the 32 photos located on our Comerica Park Web Page. I would like to thank Bob Dew for setting up this annual event. Photos by Ted Enright and Tom Brown
For Pick up call 1-800-775-8387. The donated clothing goes to a resale shop in Livonia on Plymouth Road.
Gary Pritchard's email: "I sent out the package this past weekend to SSGT Wiacek and his 101st men. The package was 27 pounds. I have some money left so I will turn it in with the bills at the next meeting."
Ron King, Tom Brown, Bill Boudreau, Moe Swope, and John Riling went to Orlando, Florida for the National VVA Conference. Ron went as our Chapter's only delegate while Tom, Bill, Moe, and John went down to sell Products for VVA State Product Sales. At the same time, there was a "Star Wars" reunion of more than 30,000 people. Apparently, every three years they have a reunion. Check out the photos from Orlando.
The Wall Song by Judy King, Mitch Townley and Brad Dunse.
The Annual Westland-Wayne Memorial Day Parade. Photos from Wayne-Westland Parade Web Page.
Attention on Deck to All VVA & AVVA Chapter 528 Members: You can receive a discount from the Yankee Air Museum Gift Shop of 50% on all items, except leather jackets, aircraft models in the showcase or DVD's. You can get this discount by seeing Chapter Life Member, Dale Worcester in the YAM Gift Shop on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday from 10am to 4pm. To receive your discount just show Dale your current VVA Membership Card. Come and visit our Web Site.
At our May 11th General Membership Meeting, news about the state reducing financing to the Veteran Service Organizations (V.S.O.) by 25 percent whereas all other departments are being cut by only four to five percent. It has been recommended that members contact their state senator or state representative. It was also suggested to call Richard LeBlanc at 888-737-5325. You could also contact Governor Granholm.
Thanks "Ouch" for this suggestion!
United States Air Force Off We
Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder
Photo Veterans Day Free Meals
We are actively participating in helping our soldiers. At our June General Membership Meeting we voted to begin a collection of items our Men and Women need overseas. Magazines/weekly tabloids (hopefully no more than 2-3 or so weeks old) - any and all even remotely related to any sport, guns, auto/motorcycle/truck, news, Entertainment, Time, Newsweek, Saturday Evening Post, ESPN, People, pop music magazines, Popular Mechanics, US, Readers Digest, etc. Donate yours and get them from relatives, friends, neighbors co-workers, your church, members of organizations you belong to. Collect them every 2-3 weeks and mail. Anything that appeals to males ages17-35 NO Playboy's, etc. If you or yours work at or with a junior high or high school, there may be a library or media center that gets these type publications as well. Publications geared to Black and Spanish speaking soldiers are always welcome. Crossword puzzle books, inexpensive shaving brushes used for weapons cleaning-brushing sand off weapons are in high demand - they go through these often. Best to have mailed to you, unwrap box and re-pack just brush with other items in your Priority Mail box. Hard candies-good ones, not those cheapo leftover Halloween things - (go to Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco, etc. for bulk 1 pound bags) -Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, Life Savers, Wherthers Butterscotch, Brachs Party Mix, peppermints, hard fruit flavored candy etc. Keep in mind it's now well over 100 degrees daily and will go to over 120, so bubble gum, chocolate, etc, will not hold up in the mail. Snacks like Beef Jerky, Trail mix, Slim Jims, bags of Cracker Jacks, Power bars, protein bars, nutritional bars, granola bars, gum in blister packs (won't melt). Cookies: Avoid sending any with nuts. Store bought bags may be best if you don't want to have fresh ones baked. Use a larger USPS box sending PRIORITY MAIL for more room as packing requires using Popcorn or bubble wrap and wadded newspapers take up space. THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM is Mail, Mail and Mail - You can write a note or card(s). If you are affiliated with a veterans group, school, scout program, church group, civic organization, co-workers, your relatives and all their contacts, etc., ask them to write a card with a message to our men and women. These men and women love cards from kids and for some, as we recall mail call is a downer as they may not have a large support group in the states, especially single soldiers. Handwritten and hand drawn cards from kids are always a winner. Consider having mail given to you unsealed and review it for any possible anti-war or suggestive line from a young females. From the 2-16 Family Support Group. "A soldier in Iraq can't see your ribbon or the flag at your front door, but a letter they hold in their hands to them means so much more". For handouts to school kids - The troops get great joy in handing these out to kids, who have little school supplies. Many office supply stores, WalMart, Staples, etc. have packs of 24-48-72 pencils and inexpensive sharpeners and erasers. If not they are often at $1 stores. Smaller toiletry items - PX's run out quickly-travel or hotel size soap, shampoo, foot powder, toothpaste and tooth brushes (check with you local dentist or dental association) and nail clippers (can get small and larger sizes at the 99 cents and $1 stores). SSG Christopher A. Wiacek, C Co 1-405th FOB Warrior TF Red Currahee APO AE 09354 will act as our liaison for this project. The project will be an on-going event not just a one time deal. Please help! & Thanks! Gary Pritchard
Vietnam Discussion at Plymouth Library
Check out the Veterans Day Flier. The Plymouth Library in recognition of Veterans Day (November 11) and as an introduction to our "Vietnam Perspectives" Series of History Programs is having six members from VVA 528 present their individual story concerning the Vietnam War. Many of our Members will be presenting information. Presenter: Don Dignan, 1967-1968, U.S. Army, Infantry; Gary Kubik, 1967-1971, U.S. Navy, Submarine; Bob Paul, 1962-1966, U.S. Marine Corps, Air Wing; Rick Popa, 1969-1971, U.S. Army, Military Police; Dennis Shrewsbury, 1961-1965, U.S. Coast Guard; and Rich Whipple, 1967-1969, U.S. Army, Airborne and Cavalry. Register in person, by calling 734-453-0750, press 4.
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 528 Plymouth-Canton, Michigan hosted the "Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.
Check out our Chapter's
Web Page which has many photos from this year's Vietnam Traveling Memorial
December 1st - week of the 19th
Our 6th Annual Winter Clothing Drive for the Detroit Veterans Center will be held during the first three weeks of December. A collection box will be placed in the VFW Lounge by December 1 and we will distribute the clothing collected during the week of December 19th. All types of winter clothing is needed for both men and women. The Detroit Veterans Center is vocational training center for homeless veterans. Contact John Fleming.