VVA 310 - Charles S. Kettles Chapter
The Vietnam Veterans of America National Chapter of the Year - 1999 & 2007
Newsletter of the Year 2007, 09, 11 & 15
|Chapter member LTC. (Retired) Chuck Kettles receved the Medal of Honor - July 2016|
On February 27, the AVVA 310 held another Quartermania to raise funds for the Fisher House Michigan. This time several of the VVA members, including me, assisted Kathy Driscoll, who led the event. I am guessing there were around thirty participants plus eight volunteers. It was a fun night with lots of prizes being won and more money placed into the Fisher House kitty. The ladies have done a stellar job of raising funds through these Quartermanias and scrapbooking events. Kudos from all of us at VVA 310.
On March 3rd, Meni and I attended the Welcome Home Celebration Military Appreciation Night sponsored by the Ann Arbor VA Hospital. It was held this year at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth. We were greeted by the familiar faces of Beverly Conaster and April LaRock from the VA. We received our wrist bands and proceeded to chow. They served salad, several versions of mostaccioli, hot dogs, pizza, pop, and cookies. Very tasty! Talked with a few of the vets and their families that were sitting at the same table with us. We made our tour from there around the upper deck to see all the vendors. There were sixteen vendors plus many of the departments of the VA Hospital. We stopped to take a couple of pictures along the way with the mascot for the USA Team, and with Beverly and April. Then the hockey game started. It was between USA Hockey’s National Team and the Waterloo Blackhawks. We stayed for the first period and then had to leave. We saw a few people we knew but the only one from our Chapter was Jim Dempsey, although he was at a vendor table representing DAV and Michigan Fisher House. Hopefully we can make a better appearance next time.
Unfortunately, it was not all fun this past month. We attended the funeral of the fourth chapter member to die this year. Pete Bellaire’s brother, David, passed away Saturday, March 11. David was a life member of our Chapter. My wife and I and several Chapter members attended the visitation on March 15 in Adrian, MI. We each paid tribute to David by placing a poppy on his chest, saluting, and retiring. For as somber as the occasion was, we enjoyed talking with Pete, his family, and David’s family and listening to them share their experiences about David’s life. David was buried in the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan. May God rest his soul and fill the emptiness in the hearts of the family.
Meni Draper did another great job with merchandising at the VA Hospital. As you may know, we sell our military paraphernalia each month on the second Tuesday of the month. As I understand it, we had a great turnout of volunteers. Thanks to our members for that. We have a great group of people in our organization. Sales were off a little, but more people are hearing about our Chapter. I know there is an ever-increasing number of people from the VA Hospital that look forward to our being there each month. Perhaps, when the construction is complete, we can finally talk the administration into allowing us to set up in the new lobby on the first floor.
On March 15, Don Miller and I representing VVA 310, Elmer White representing American Legion Post 46, and Chris Dea of VFW 423, met at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital for a photo op commemorating the VA’s new Club Cart, which our three organizations collectively purchased. After we had taken a few pictures, a few VA Hospital personnel came down to take pictures with us. I was able to take a picture with Dr. Singh, the Assistant Director of the Hospital. They seemed to be appreciative. The photos are posted on our website and on the Ann Arbor VA’s website. Check them out. This is something that our Chapter can certainly be proud of.
On March 17 Meni and I had a great time at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor listening to the US Navy Band. It was really great to see that they played to a packed house. They played a diverse program from Sousa to movie themes. And, since this event fell on St. Paddy’s Day, they played ‘Oh Danny Boy’. They had a great soloist singer who sang three songs, and solo saxophone and French horn players. As was expected, they played tribute to all the branches of service. All in all, it was a great, relaxing night out. We enjoyed it thoroughly.
We are close to having our budget and audit complete. Hard to believe it’s that time again. Seems the older we get the faster time goes by!
Just a reminder, we will not be having a meeting on our regular second Tuesday of the month (April 13). We will instead have an Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 23rd. The Annual Meeting is required by VVA National. We will also hold our final nominations and then the elections. Meeting starts at 1200 hrs at the VFW 423 Post. Elections run from 1300 to 1600 hrs.
If you have not already purchased your tickets for the 2017 Gary Lillie Recognition Dinner purchase them now. Don’t wait until the last minute. George Perrault and I are selling the tickets. Email either one of us to purchase them. At the event you will have a great meal, get to talk with our VIPs, one of whom is our own Colonel Kettles, and participate in our drawings and 50/50 raffle. It’s our opportunity to show our support for those who spend a lot of their time and effort supporting our Veterans, our Chapter, and our community. And let’s not forget the great time we have socializing with our friends and maybe there are some members that you have not seen in a while. Come join the fun!
SSgt Dave Draper
See you at the next meeting,