The Vietnam Veterans of America National Chapter of the Year - 1999 & 2007
Newsletter of the Year 2007, 09, 11 & 15
- ATTENTION -
Michigan House Bill 5169 proposition would take away the property tax exemption from qualifying veterans and instead give them a $1200.00 State of Michigan tax credit
Please pass on to your Members, who are VA 100% Disabled "and" have applied for the "Real Estate Tax Exemption" from their City or Township.
Everyone should be writing or calling their State Representative and State Senator and tell them to "not" vote for this Bill 5169.
Michigan House Bill 5169 proposition would take away the property tax exemption from qualifying veterans and instead give them a $1200.00 State of Michigan tax credit.
Click here to find your Representative.
Well, here we are as a Chapter, starting to come out of our hibernation as our activities begin to increase. We have recently held our elections and installed our officers (a new President and new two-year Board of Director’s members). Al Merritt accepted the chair position for our Memorial Grounds Crew replacing Geno Morley. Al wasted no time in getting the grounds in ship-shape for the upcoming Watch Fire and Memorial Day ceremonies. Next time you see Al, thank him for stepping up to the plate to take the position. We thank Geno for his many years of great service taking care of the grounds. Our AVVA/Friends were busy too planting flowers at the Memorial and the VFW Post. They do so much for the Chapter and I think they do not get the recognition that they so richly deserve.
I was very happy to see that we had a great turnout for the Gary Lillie Recognition Dinner. The food was great as always thanks in large part to Mike Edie. It does take a lot of volunteers to put in play one of these events. Our thanks to everyone who helped out from setup to cleanup. The ladies of the AVVA/Friends should get a lot of the credit for setup and for the beautiful setup of the tables. I want to thank Roy Hall for setting up the auction again and for not winning as many prizes this time – just kidding. This year’s awards went to John Kinzinger and Don Miller for the President’s Award, Steve Hitte, for the Jerry Sims Award, and Gene Morley, for the Veteran of the Year Award. Kathy Driscoll accepted the award for Friend of the Year, Cynthia Calhoun was made an Honorary Member of the Friends, and Shirley Hitte and Gena Hecker received Certificates of Appreciation.Congrats to everyone, all well deserved awards.
Also this past month, another excellent event was the Vietnam Era Veterans Commemoration Event at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital. The mistress of ceremonies, April LaRock, did an exceptional job of putting together this event. The keynote speaker was none other than our own Lt. Colonel Charles Kettles who gave an inspiring speech. We learned later that the President of the United States called the Colonel and let him know that he would be upgraded to Medal of Honor status. Kudos and congratulations! Kelly Trudell also sang her famous song “The Sound of Hope.” It is my understanding that she continued singing even after the event had formally ended.
Watch Fire this year was a little light on people. We did, however, manage to have a good time retiring flags and remembering loved ones and friends that had gone on before us. Stories could be heard of family remembrances of war stories being passed down through the years and genealogies being interpreted. It was a great time sitting under the trees eating dogs and brats and enjoying each other’s company and conversations.
I had the honor of presenting the memorial wreath on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 310 at the Saline parade grounds following the Saline parade on May 30. Six other wreaths preceded the VVA’s: American Legion 322, Ladies Auxiliary 322, SAL 322, Knights of Columbus, Miss Sr. Poppy, and the very cute Miss Jr. Poppy. Our own Paulo Pereira recited Flanders Field poem with great emotion and expression. Nice job! Tim Driscoll was again the emcee for the event. And a great job, as usual.
Following the Saline event, we all headed over to the 25th Annual Memorial Day Observance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ypsilanti. I presented a well-deserved Certificate of Appreciation to Ms. Brenda Stumbo, Ypsilanti Township Supervisor, for her support of VVA 310 and the Memorial grounds. Our speaker was U.S. Navy Captain Phil Klintworth, and we were presented with a speech by VVA State President John Riling. Songs and music were provided by the Ypsilanti Community Choir and the Saline Fiddlers. Wendy Hibbitts read “I knew Them All” again this year, and Marv Rivers read each of the names on the Memorial, as it’s been done for many years. And finally, we ended the event by the firing of the rifles by the Veterans Honor Guard of Washtenaw County. It was a great day to remember our fallen and especially those from Washtenaw County.
So, as you can see, we are blessed to have a very active Chapter. Next month promises to be not quite so hectic, but we do have a few events to keep us on our toes. Thanks to all those who take the time out of their busy schedules to volunteer to participate at these events. That’s what keeps this Chapter healthy and vibrant. Good job!
SSgt Dave Draper