March 2020

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Membership Meeting Minutes
13 February 2020
Call to Order by President Driscoll at 1900 hrs.
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: Bob Bull
Moment of Silence for POW/MIA’S, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll Call: A quorum was established. Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members: None
Guests: None
Presentation:  Shirley Hitte presented the membership with a quilted wall hanging she made for Fisher House.  The wall hanging is a map of Michigan’s lower peninsula showing the location of important features.  Fisher House has already agreed to place it in a favorable location with thanks to VVA 310.
Presentation:  Tim Driscoll presented a UH-1 Huey Flag to Dale Throneberry in honor of Throneberry’s years of service in a helicopter unit.
Motion to approve the January Minutes by Wilson/Bull. Approved by consent.
President’s Report: Paulo’s wife, Ann, and Kathy Driscoll will be helping the recognition dinner planning committee.  We still need people to volunteer to work the event, provide items for the auctions and so forth.  The dinner is set for 2 May at the customary UAW in Ypsilanti.
We need somebody or somebodies to take over the leadership of this year’s Pig Roast.
Meeting suspended for nominations (first time)
Nominations for President: Stan Harrison, accepts.
Vice President: Marv Rivers, accepts; Tim Driscoll declines.
Secretary: Jon Luker, accepts.
Treasurer: Berry Bourne, accepts.
Two-Year Board members (five to be elected)
The following individuals will transition from two-year terms to one-year terms:  Horace Frazier, Al (Fredo) Merritt, Roy Hall, Marty Cothorn and Ken Rogge.  They are therefore not eligible for nomination.
The nominees are: Bob Bull, accepts; Steve Hitte, accepts; Larry St. Antoine, accepts; John Kinzinger (not present to accept or decline); George Betz, accepts; George Perrault, declines; Chris Wetzler, accepts; Nick Mauder, accepts.
Sergeant At Arms: Tim Clarke, accepts; Horace Frazier, declines.
Meeting was resumed.
Treasurer’s Report: Bourne handed out a printed financial report in a new format.  This report gives members more details about unrestricted account expenses and revenues while also providing budget control data for all accounts.  The unrestricted accounts finished more than $8,000 better than the budget predicted, primarily due to certain budgeted donations and expenditures not made.
AVVA Report: See Kathy Driscoll’s report as part of Dispatch Newsletter.
Food Pantry: Miller – No activity.
Merchandise Report: Stan Harrison reports that he is receiving better help from volunteers at the VA sales events and that gross sales remain good.  Thank you for your help.  Although the VA declines to let us use the Welcome Center for sales, we hope that is not a final decision, especially given that the Welcome Center has been consistently unused when we are there with Merchandise.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: Luker – Our next meeting will be this coming Monday.  The annual dinner will be 16 March.  If you want to attend, you need to buy your own ticket, unless you get a VIP ticket.
Michigan State Council: Wilson:  Based on information received by the National Board from the Council of State Presidents, National has decided to implement the plan members voted against at the 2019 convention – to create and fund a new organization that will pick up where VVA leaves off.  In theory, National will also prepare a plan to change the organization’s name and membership requirements to be voted on at the 2021 convention. Then we will have to wait and see which idea works best.
Therefore, several things will take place.  First, Post-Vietnam Era veterans will be asked to attend the State Council meeting in May and the Leadership Conference in July.  That will help get those veterans a chance to see what we do and how we do it.  At the same time, National will be working on a way to start that second national organization.  National hopes that once the post-Vietnam era veterans see the importance of the strategy VVA has that the other VSO’s don’t, the newer organization will do what we do (plus whatever works for their generations and veterans).  National and state organizations will also be looking for ways to have the two organizations work together at the local level, to mentor, support and advise the new local units until they are able to operate without our help.  If this plan works, and if it comes together before VVA can get Congress to change our national charter, then VVA will not change its name or membership requirements and will just pass everything over to the new national organization.  That will need to be done long before the last man is unable to function properly.
The question them becomes, “What does the Charles S. Kettles Chapter want to do about helping to start a local Post-Vietnam Veterans Organization?”
Memorial Maintenance: Merritt – New teams and work plans are set to start 1 March.  We are out of the transformers that are necessary to keep the lights on at the Memorial.  We are working on finding a way to convert the lights to LED.  The person who has been helping us with the lights since the first day is Mike Chase.  He is taking the lead on the changeover project.  Because he has responded to every request for help over the past years in less than 24 hours and does so without compensation. I would like to see that he is one of the people who gets recognized at this year’s Recognition Dinner.  He should receive a decent gift card from us.
    Luker:  OHM Advisors has provided us with a preliminary site map to which they will add water and sewer data.  That will allow us to pick a site for the shed and begin to nail down the details necessary for cost estimates and time frames.
    Driscoll:  The family of Roger and Kate Graef has given us a copy of the application requirements to receive a project grant from the Roger and Kate Graef Family Foundation.  They expressed a strong desire that we apply and that we do so prior to the 31 May deadline.
Website: Vance McCrumb stated that there is a new page on the website featuring the C-130 that Phil and his family flew to the US.  The webpage will report the progress on the restoration of the plane while it is at the National Warplane Museum. Museum name on the raffle ticket.
Membership: Vance stated that there are 207 Chapter members, because two members lapsed their annual membership.
Newsletter: Pereira – No report
Healthcare: Sandie Wilson reminded us to get our flu and shingles shots.
VAAAHS: No Report.
Old Business: None
New Business: Motion by Merritt/St. Antoine to buy 12 C-130 fundraising raffle tickets for $200. Chapter paid $160 and Larry contributed $40.The motion was amended (by friendly amendment) to pay $161 toward the purchase of 12 tickets when it was reported that our impulse donation budget was down to that amount and Larry St. Antoine volunteered to contribute the rest of the money needed.  Motion Approved.  Phil Pham then announced that his family would buy 12 more tickets in the name of the Charles S. Kettles Chapter.
Good of the Order: Phil Pham passed out Veterans Day cards that were made at the Ann Arbor Library by youngsters visiting there.
Vance McCrumb There is a raffle to help pay for the restoration of Saigon Lady, the plane Phil’s father flew to the US.  The restoration will cost about $400,000.  The Grand Prize is $10,000 cash.  Tickets are $20 each or 6 tickets for $100.
Horace Frazier:  I have raffle tickets for the VFW Department of Michigan Honor Guard.  The prizes include a Mossberg Patriot 450 Bushmaster, a great crossbow and a pistol.  Winner gets first pick.  Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5.
Horace Frazier:  I spoke before about the “Guitars for Veterans” program being started up at the VA in Detroit.  Now volunteer services will be starting the program here in Ann Arbor soon.  Each person who wants in on the program must first get a referral from their Primary Care doctor.  Once in, you get a guitar, you get lessons, and you play with other veterans.  At the end of the program, there is a recital for the public.  I will be helping Ann Arbor get the program up and running.
Coming Events
26 Feb     1830 Tell your story at VFW 423
10 Mar     VA sales
21 Mar     Veterans Appreciation Day at the USA Hockey Arena
22 Mar    Veterans Appreciation Baseball game
29 April     1200 – 1600 Annual Elections
2 May     1800    Annual Recognition Dinner at the usual UAW Hall
16-17 May    All Veterans Powwow at Bishop Lake Group Campground
20 May    VACAT employer and entrepreneur convention at Morris Lawrence building at WCC
1 Jun    Last Day to Register for Campsite at Kokomo
6 and 7 Jun    Selfridge Air Show honoring Vietnam Veterans
14-18 Jul    Leadership Conference @ Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dayton, OH
14-21 Sep    38th Annual Veterans Reunion at Kokomo, Indiana
July 2021    VVA    National Convention, Greensboro, NC
Flag Salute
Closing Prayer: Bob Bull
Meeting Adjourned at 2010 hrs.
Chapter Breakfast: Friday, March 13th, 0900 hours, at Brewed Awakenings Cafe - 7025 E. Michigan Ave., Saline, MI 48176 — (734) 681-0078.

February 2020

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Meeting     
9 January 2020

Call to Order by President Driscoll at 1900 hrs.
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: Bob Bull
Moment of Silence for POW/MIA’S, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll Call: A quorum was established. Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members: None
Guests: None
Motion to approve the December Minutes by St. Antoine/Bull. Approved.
President’s Report:  He stated that it would be appropriate for all members to bring some additional food so enough food is available for dinner. All the extra food could go home with those without adequate cooking facilities.
In addition, he presented John Kinzinger a framed certificate of appreciation from Task Force Lincoln Team Blackhawks 108th Sustainment Brigade for VVA 310’s support from its Deployed Troops Care Boxes program.
Treasurer’s Report: Bourne handed out the printed financial report. The major event in the month was the Christmas Program for the AA VA patients whereby the funding totaled a record $15,000. Then he discussed an overview of the financial report.
AVVA Report: See Kathy Driscoll’s report as part of Dispatch Newsletter.
Food Pantry: Miller – No report
Merchandise Report: Stan Harrison stated that the next sales at the AA VA will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 14th. December sales were $830 with a $440 gross margin.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: Luker – No report
Michigan State Council: State meeting in May to be held in Dearborn
Memorial Maintenance: Merritt – No report
Website: Vance McCrumb stated that the website is up and running. He is anticipating a quote to upgrade the site.
Membership: Vance stated that there are 209-chapter members
Newsletter: Pereira – No report
Healthcare: Sandie Wilson stated that approval has been secured for the shingles vaccines.
AA VA HS: John Kinzinger stated that VVA 528 held their Christmas program on Dec. 17th. VVA 310 held their Christmas program on Dec. 20th. The shirts given to the veterans had embroidered a statement that “Freedom is Not Free”. Underwear had recently been given to Voluntary Services to dispense as needed.
Old Business: Motion by St. Antoine/Rogge to approve the Amended Bylaws as emailed to chapter members by Jon Luker on Dec. 14th. Approved
New Business: Motion by Bourne/Harrison to approve the 2021 Operating Budget as presented. Approved.
Good of the Order:
George Perrault stated that Al Merritt, in charge of Vietnam Memorial in Ypsilanti, desires to have four three-man teams to cut the grass at the Memorial site. See George after the meeting to sign up.
Veterans Radio will have an open mike for “Memorable Moments” on Jan. 29th from 1900 to 2100 hrs. at the VFW.
Bob Bull stated he is hosting a fund-raising event on Sunday, February 9th, at the VFW to assist homeless veterans and provide additional funding for suicide prevention efforts. Church service at 1000 hrs. following by luncheon at 1200 hrs. and a silent auction at 1400 hrs.
Sandie Wilson commented that Senators Peters and Stabenow and Representatives Dingell and Walberg have been contacted to support the name change of the AA VA to Charles S. Kettles.
Annual Recognition Dinner will be held May 2nd beginning at 1800 hrs. at the UAW Hall in Ypsilanti.
Coming Events:  Selfridge Air Show honoring Vietnam Veterans to be held June 6-7, 2020.
Leadership Conference to be held at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dayton, OH from July 14-18, 2020.
VVA National Convention to be held in Greensboro, NC in July 2021.
Closing Prayer: Bob Bull
Meeting Adjourned at 2002 hrs. after salute to the flag
Chapter Breakfast: Friday, February 14th, 0900 hours, at Bomber’s Restaurant, 306 E Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI.

January 2020

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Meeting     
12 December 2019

Call to order by President Driscoll at 1911
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: Tim Driscoll
Moment of silence for POW/MIA’s, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll call:  A quorum was established.  Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members:    Ken Bridges
Guests:  None
Motion to Approve the November Minutes by Wilson/St Antoine. Approved.
President’s Report:   
Dell is doing better at Wellbridge on North Territorial Road
Paulo’s brother passed away.
John Kinzinger is home from surgery.
Kathy and I were in the hospital today also.
20 Dec is the Christmas party at hospital.  Meet in lobby at 1730.  If you can’t make that, you can join VVA Chapter 528 at the VA on 17 Dec.  Stacey Mason will be there on the 17th and the Saline Fiddlers will be there on the 20th.
We still need volunteers for Pig Roast and Merchandise.
We could also do new projects for community outreach and to raise a few dollars.
Treasure’s Report:  Bourne.  Printed report circulated.  Proposed budget outlined.  If we don’t get volunteers to do the fundraising activities, we will need significant budget cuts.  No questions.
AVVA Report:  Kathy Driscoll.  Please see attached report.  
Food Pantry:  Miller.  No Report.
Merchandise Report:  St Antoine/Rivers/Clark.   We got snowed out at the VA last month.  Last Tuesday was our last day at the VA and our last event.  Things were a bit slow this week.  Thanks to all who volunteered over the past two years, especially Marv, Steve, Shirley, Kathy, Wendy & Too Tall.  Thanks to the two Stan’s for agreeing to pick up where we left off.  We got two more volunteers.  Stan Harrison is going to haul the trailer.  We still need somebody to do the internet ordering and to receive and tag the items when they come in.  That person doesn’t need to leave home.  We might do things other than the VA, but only if we get more volunteers for those events.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans Report:  Luker.   We will be doing Bingo before our regular meeting on 20 January at the VA and then meeting in the auditorium for our meeting.
Michigan State Council:  Luker.
There is a debate about whether MOPH is getting out of the VSO business.  If they do, there is a good chance that VVA will pick up the new business and get a better share of the Coalition budget as well.
VVAMSC.org is up and running.  If you want to see what is happening around the state, that’s the place to go.
29 March is Vietnam Veterans Day.  It is also the date of the next State Council meeting in Standish.
HR 2200 would add four diseases to those that are presumptively caused by toxic exposure during service in Vietnam.  The bill was introduced in April and referred to two committees.  VVA is being told the bill is expected to start moving soon.  Please ask your representatives to support this bill.  It is beyond past due.
The State Council is trying to put together an event specifically to bring younger veterans and Vietnam Veterans together.  Part of the goal is to let them know that we will be opening our ranks to them as soon as possible.  Another part of the goal is to find out what they want or need from an organization like VVA.  To that end, the State Council would like me to collect contact information for younger veterans you might know.  If you know veteran students, Team RWB members, young veterans in church, or other young veterans, please ask them if you can give me their contact information. Please forward the information to our Secretary, Jon Luker, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The VVA VSO office in Detroit moved to room 1226.  This is a “permanent” move.  They are still having phone trouble.  When you call you might get a ring with no routing to voicemail or you might get a busy signal.  In that case, please just try again in 10 minutes or so.
The Leadership Conference will be 14 through 18 July 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dayton, Ohio.  All chapter officers may attend.  The main topic is expected to be about the name change process and about expanding our membership.  
Blue Water Navy claims will be worked on starting on 1 Jan, but you can submit yours now.
Memorial Committee Report:  Merritt.  Thank you to all team members.  We received many good complements throughout the season.  Send me an email if you’d like to be on the committee next year.  Animal (Jim Sharp) gave us a six-foot-tall metal silhouette of a soldier kneeling.  The committee will determine where it will be placed.  The bench and the repairs will take place in spring.  Kate and her husband put up two wreaths.  The shed project is still in progress.
Website Committee Report:  McCrumb.   The website works, but it is not mobile friendly – meaning that it does not look right when viewed on mobile devices.  We have asked for an estimate to upgrade the website to make it mobile-friendly and to make it more secure. Estimate to come.
Membership Report:  McCrumb.  Officially, National shows us at 208, including Gerald Martin, who transferred to us from Plymouth-Canton 528. Bourne gave us a donation to cover the dues of a lapsed member.
Newsletter:  Pereira.  No report.
Health Care:  Wilson.  Senior Citizens Flu shots are in.  Shingles shots are in also.
VAAAHS Report:  Wilson for Kinzinger.  Things are changing at the VA.  More people coming in for care.  The director has been instructed to help shape up the Detroit VA.  There is a new VISN director from Arizona.  Bull added that they have two new people at Volunteer Services but haven’t replaced Bev yet.  The biggest things on the VAVS needs list are sweat pants and hooded sweat shirts.
Unfinished Business:  None
New Business:  Motion McCrumb/Fife to donate $1,000 to Veterans Radio as a sponsorship.  By consent, the motion was not considered because the issue will be included in Board budget discussions before the budget is presented to membership.
Bylaws Amendment:  As required by our bylaws, a printed copy of proposed bylaws was presented to the membership by the Board, subject to further review and editing to be voted on by membership at the January regular membership meeting.
Good of the Order:  Bob Bull: I have a project underway to provide additional housing for homeless veterans.  We have identified a property we might be able to use and are negotiating with the City of Ypsilanti to make it available.  On 9 February, I will be conducting a fundraising auction event at VFW Post 423.  I could use volunteers on the 8th to help setup the event and volunteers on the 9th to work the event and cleanup.  There will also be a $10 breakfast at the VFW on the day of the event.
I am also talking with the VFW to see if they will allow this facility to become a Vet Center.
Finally, I have talked with several legislators who agree that the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System should be renamed in honor of LTC Charles S. Kettles.  I will continue to help make this happen.
Larry St. Antoine:  Please come to the Welcome Center at the VA by 1730 on 18 December 2019 for the next Veterans Radio Open Mic Night.  The topic will be “There I was on Christmas Day.”

Official business ceased by operation of Standing Rule Three at 2030.

Good of the Order Continued Informally:  John Kinzinger: VVA 310 is being given credit for hosting a fundraiser for Warriors and Caregivers United (WACU) that will be held at Frenchie’s, next to the Sidetrack bar in Ypsilanti from 1700 to 2100 on Tuesday, 7 January.  Stacey Mason and Phil Kelly will provide musical entertainment.  For more information, go to www.wacu.org or visit their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Wacu-164608700235104/.
Coming Events—December:
Today     A good day to get your flu shot and your shingles shot
14 December    Wreaths Across America
17 December    VVA 528 Christmas Party at the VA
18 December    Vet’s Radio Open Mic night at the VA
20 December    VVA 310 Christmas Party at the VA
January Events    See “Current Events” below
Closing Prayer: Bob Bull
Salute the Flag
Respectfully Submitted, Jon Luker
********

December 2019

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Meeting Minutes
12 December 2019

Call to order by President Driscoll at 1911
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: Driscoll
Moment of silence for POW/MIA’s, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll call:  A quorum was established.  Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members:    Ken Bridges
Guests:  None
Motion to Approve the November Minutes by Wilson/St Antoine. Approved.
President’s Report:   
Dell is doing better at Wellbridge on North Territorial Road
Paulo’s brother passed away.
John Kinzinger is home from surgery.
Kathy and I were in the hospital today also.
20 Dec is the Christmas party at hospital.  Meet in lobby at 1730.  If you can’t make that, you can join VVA Chapter 528 at the VA on 17 Dec.  Stacey Mason will be there on the 17th and the Saline Fiddlers will be there on the 20th.
We still need volunteers for Pig Roast and Merchandise.
We could also do new projects for community outreach and to raise a few dollars.
Treasure’s Report:  Bourne.  Printed report circulated.  Proposed budget outlined.  If we don’t get volunteers to do the fundraising activities, we will need significant budget cuts.  No questions.
AVVA Report:  Kathy Driscoll.  Please see attached report.  
Food Pantry:  Miller.  No Report.
Merchandise Report:  St Antoine/Rivers/Clark.   We got snowed out at the VA last month.  Last Tuesday was our last day at the VA and our last event.  Things were a bit slow this week.  Thanks to all who volunteered over the past two years, especially Marv, Steve, Shirley, Kathy, Wendy & Too Tall.  Thanks to the two Stan’s for agreeing to pick up where we left off.  We got two more volunteers.  Stan Harrison is going to haul the trailer.  We still need somebody to do the internet ordering and to receive and tag the items when they come in.  That person doesn’t need to leave home.  We might do things other than the VA, but only if we get more volunteers for those events.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans Report:  Luker.   We will be doing Bingo before our regular meeting on 20 January at the VA and then meeting in the auditorium for our meeting.
Michigan State Council:  Luker.
There is a debate about whether MOPH is getting out of the VSO business.  If they do, there is a good chance that VVA will pick up the new business and get a better share of the Coalition budget as well.
VVAMSC.org is up and running.  If you want to see what is happening around the state, that’s the place to go.
29 March is Vietnam Veterans Day.  It is also the date of the next State Council meeting in Standish.
HR 2200 would add four diseases to those that are presumptively caused by toxic exposure during service in Vietnam.  The bill was introduced in April and referred to two committees.  VVA is being told the bill is expected to start moving soon.  Please ask your representatives to support this bill.  It is beyond past due.
The State Council is trying to put together an event specifically to bring younger veterans and Vietnam Veterans together.  Part of the goal is to let them know that we will be opening our ranks to them as soon as possible.  Another part of the goal is to find out what they want or need from an organization like VVA.  To that end, the State Council would like me to collect contact information for younger veterans you might know.  If you know veteran students, Team RWB members, young veterans in church, or other young veterans, please ask them if you can give me their contact information. Please forward the information to our Secretary, Jon Luker, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The VVA VSO office in Detroit moved to room 1226.  This is a “permanent” move.  They are still having phone trouble.  When you call you might get a ring with no routing to voicemail or you might get a busy signal.  In that case, please just try again in 10 minutes or so.
The Leadership Conference will be 14 through 18 July 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dayton, Ohio.  All chapter officers may attend.  The main topic is expected to be about the name change process and about expanding our membership.  
Blue Water Navy claims will be worked on starting on 1 Jan, but you can submit yours now.
Memorial Committee Report:  Merritt.  Thank you to all team members.  We received many good complements throughout the season.  Send me an email if you’d like to be on the committee next year.  Animal (Jim Sharp) gave us a six-foot-tall metal silhouette of a soldier kneeling.  The committee will determine where it will be placed.  The bench and the repairs will take place in spring.  Kate and her husband put up two wreaths.  The shed project is still in progress.
Website Committee Report:  McCrumb.   The website works, but it is not mobile friendly – meaning that it does not look right when viewed on mobile devices.  We have asked for an estimate to upgrade the website to make it mobile friendly and to make it more secure.
Membership Report:  McCrumb.  Officially, national shows us at 208, including Gerald Martin who transferred to us from 528 in Belleville.  Bourne gave us a donation to cover the dues of a lapsed member.
Newsletter:  Pereira.  No report.
Health Care:  Wilson.  Senior Citizens Flu shots are in.  Shingles shots are in also.  .  
VAAAHS Report:  Wilson for Kinzinger.  Things are changing at the VA.  More people coming in for care.  The director has been instructed to help shape up the Detroit VA.  There is a new VISN director from Arizona.  Bull added that they have two new people at volunteer services but haven’t replaced Bev yet.  The biggest things on the VAVS needs list are sweat pants and hooded sweat shirts.
Unfinished Business:  None
New Business:  
Motion McCrumb/Fife to donate $1,000 to Veterans Radio as a sponsorship.  By consent, the motion was not considered because the issue will be included in board budget discussions before the budget is presented to membership.
Bylaws Amendment:  As required by our bylaws, a printed copy of proposed bylaws was presented to the membership by the Board, subject to further review and editing to be voted on by membership at the January regular membership meeting.
Good of the Order:
Bob Bull:    I have a project underway to provide additional housing for homeless veterans.  We have identified a property we might be able to use and are negotiating with the City of Ypsilanti to make it available.  On 9 February, I will be conducting a fundraising auction event here at the post.  I could use volunteers on the 8th to help setup the event and volunteers on the 9th to work the event and cleanup.  There will also be a $10 breakfast at the VFW on the day of the event.
I am also talking with the VFW to see if they will allow this facility to become a Vet Center.
Finally, I have talked with several legislators who agree that the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System should be renamed in honor of LTC Charles S. Kettles.  I will continue to help make this happen.
Larry St. Antoine:  Please come to the Welcome Center at the VA by 1730 on 18 December 2019 for the next Veterans Radio Open Mic Night.  The topic will be “There I was on Christmas Day”

Official business ceased by operation of Standing Rule Three at 2030

Good of the Order Continued Informally:
Jane Kinzinger: VVA 310 is being given credit for hosting a fundraiser for Warriors and Caregivers United (WACU) that will be held at Frenchie’s, next to the Sidetrack bar in Ypsilanti from 1700 to 2100 on Tuesday, 7 January.  Stacey Mason and Phil Kelly will provide musical entertainment.  For more information, go to www.wacu.org or visit their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Wacu-164608700235104/.
Coming Events:

Today     A good day to get your flu shot and your shingles shot
14 December    Wreaths Across America
17 December    VVA 528 Christmas Party at the VA
18 December    Vet’s Radio Open Mic night at the VA
20 December    VVA 310 Christmas Party at the VA
14 January    Merchandise at the VA
20 January    Washtenaw County Council Meeting and Bingo at the VA
9 February    Breakfast and Auction Fundraiser at the VFW
29 March    Vietnam Veterans Day
29 March    Michigan State Council meeting in Standish
6 and 7 June 2020    Selfridge Air Show honoring Vietnam Veterans
14-18 July 2020    Leadership Conference @ Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dayton, OH
July 2021 VVA    National Convention, Greensboro, NC
Closing Prayer: Bob Bull
Salute the Flag
Respectfully Submitted, Jon Luker

November 2019

Regular Meeting Minutes - VVA Chapter 310
14 Nov 2019
Call to order by Secretary Jon Luker at 1900
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: John Kinzinger
Moment of silence for POW/MIA’s, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll call:  A quorum was established.  Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members:    Jim Gibbons
Guests:  Isaac Henricks (Air Force 2000 to 2006) and Michele
Motion to Approve the October Minutes by Merritt/St Antoine. Approved.
President’s Report:   
President Driscoll is home helping his wife recover from major surgery.
We need volunteers to run the Pig Roast next year, and we need to start earlier next year.
We still need admin and worker support for the merchandise operation.
I believe the Chapter continues to do great things because the members do great things.  It is all of us working together that makes the Chapter great.
Treasure’s Report:  Bourne.  Printed report circulated.  Merchandise contributed $8,000 from their account to the general fund.  One question answered.  The board is beginning work on next year’s budget.
AVVA Report:  By Meni Draper for Kathy Driscoll.  Please see attached report.  
Food Pantry:  Miller.  No Report.
Merchandise Report:  St Antoine/Rivers/Clark.   We could not do the VA this month because the trailer was stuck in the snow.  Currently we go to the VA once a month.  We must pay the VA 20% of our total sales. Thanks to Marv Rivers, we can still make a profit on what we sell because he finds quality items for low prices.  The commission to the VA could be reduced to 15% if we sell at the VA twice a month.  Our profit would go up far more than our expenses, but we can’t do it without more volunteer help.  Stan Clark and Stan Harrison are going to try to keep the merchandising operation going, but if they don’t get the help they need, they will close it down in February.  We are still trying to get the VA to let us sell on the first floor, but the VA has not yet agreed.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans Report:  Luker.   We will be doing Bingo before our regular meeting twice each year: once in January (our next meeting) and once in the summer.
VVA National is requesting data about our experiences with the local Vet Centers.  They want to know if any of our members have been told they should stop coming to group therapy because they have been coming long enough.  They also want to know if any of our members had difficulty getting what they need from a Vet Center due to Vet Center staff shortages.  VVA doesn’t need names or details.  Just the number of occurrences we are aware of – and at which Vet Center, if known.  Please forward your information to our Secretary, Jon Luker, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Be advised that you can see a Dearborn Vet Center counselor at the Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs office.  They are available free, by appointment on certain Wednesdays of the month.
Also, The VA changed its private information policy.  According to a letter they have sent to only some people, they will now automatically share your VA information with any outside provider you use.  Due to the efforts of DAV lawyers, the official start date of the policy was delayed until January 2020.  Also, they are required to give you the opportunity to opt out so that your information will not be shared, but you must act affirmatively to make that happen.  You can either go to the release of information people at the VA hospital, or you can opt out on line.
Michigan State Council:  Luker.  National has voted to allow electronic meetings.  They remind us that officers other than the President are now allowed to hold more than one elected position.  The next meeting will be 8 December at the Howell American Legion.
Memorial Committee Report:  Merritt.  The season is over.  Thank you to those who helped with the Fall cleanup.  We accomplished what we hoped, except that we did not dig for concrete because Doan would rather help us do that project in the spring.  AVVA will be at the Memorial at 1000 on 29 November to place two wreaths and to do year-end care for the garden.
The Veteran Suicide Prevention Demonstration was a success.  We intend to work with Ypsilanti Township to do it every year.
Website Committee Report:  McCrumb.   The website works.  We have had 150,000+ hits so far, 36,000 just this month.  I am changing the links page to not request a donation from sites that want us to link to them.  That’s why the links page is temporarily unavailable.
Membership Report:  McCrumb.  Officially, national shows us at 209, our highest number in history so far.
Newsletter:  Pereira:  No report.
Health Care:  Wilson.  No report.  
VAAAHS Report:  John Kinzinger.  The Halloween Party went well and made the VA patients happy.  20 December is the Christmas Party where our VVA Chapter gives away the embroidered shirts.  The Saline Fiddlers will be playing in the cafeteria.  Be in the lobby at 1730 if you wish to join us.  Everything leftover will be given to the oncology department and will be given away as needed throughout the year.  You can also join VVA 528 on 17 December when they do their Christmas event at the VA, as long as we don’t have too many people.  Stacy Mason will be present for that event.  Miss Michigan was not available this year.  26 Nov is the Dawn Farm Thanksgiving Dinner.  We meet at Kroger’s on Maple Road at 1600 and then meet at Dawn Farm at 1800.
Old Business:  None
New Business:  None
Good of the Order:
Jane Kinzinger: We dedicated the Memorial 28 years ago on 10 November, when 400 family members attended.  Many of them have passed or moved away. Friends used to entertain the Gold Star Mothers at Weber’s every year, but there are no more Gold Star mothers in the area.  Gold Star Mother Laura Eglinsdoerfer just passed away. She was the last one who lived in our area.  She was one of the original Rosie The Riveters.
Jane Kinzinger:    AVVA was asked to help decorate the VFW hall for the Christmas Holiday.  We will do that at 1000 on 2 December.
Throneberry:    Veterans Radio began 16 years ago.  Thank you for your support.
Our next Tell Your Story Open Mic Night will be at 1830 on 20 Nov at the VFW on Wagner Road.  This is a family friendly event.  The theme will be “Most Memorable Event” while you were in service.  Please get here by 1800 to sign releases and get a briefing.  We hope our December event will be held at the VA hospital on 18 December and will have the theme “Christmas in the Service.”
Dave Draper:    The Selfridge Air Base 2020 Airshow will honor Vietnam Veterans.  The show runs 6 and 7 June, 2020.
Frazier:    There is a new program for veterans called Guitars for Vets.  John Picklo runs the Detroit Chapter.  He can be reached at 248 330-0216.  The program buys guitars and accessories and then loans them to veterans who are then given guitar lessons.  Once they finish the lessons, they perform a recital.  There is a chance the program will be able to hold classes at the Ann Arbor VA.  I’ll keep you posted.
Merritt:    December Chapter Breakfast: Friday, 13 December at 0900 hours, Brewed Awakenings Cafe - 7025 E. Michigan Ave., Saline, MI 48176.
Closing Prayer: John Kinzinger
Salute the Flag
Adjourned 1958
Respectfully Submitted, Jon Luker

October 2019

10 Oct 2019
Call to order by Vice President Harrison at 1900
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: Draper
Moment of silence for POW/MIA’s, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll call:  A quorum was established.  Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members:    Rev Bob Bull and Tom Stempke
Guests:  Isaac (Air Force 2000 to 2006) and Michele
Motion to Approve the September Minutes by Lee/Draper. Approved.
President’s Report:   Harrison
President Driscoll is home helping his wife recover from major surgery.
We need volunteers to run the Pig Roast next year, and we need to start earlier next year.
Treasure’s Report:  Bourne.  Pig Roast did earn as budgeted.  Printed report circulated.  Merchandise did as expected.  CD’s earning above market rate.  No questions.
AVVA Report:  By Draper for Driscoll.  Please see attached report.  
Food Pantry:  Miller.  No Activity.
Merchandise Report:  St Antoine/Rivers.   We had a good month.  Thank you to all who helped with one or more of the events.  We have two volunteer committee members, but it would be best to have four, plus those who stop by to help here and there.  We still need somebody to manage ordering and somebody else to manage credit card transactions.  We are running down the inventory.  We really would like to train a new team to keep on doing this important work.  It is not just an important source of revenue, but it where we meet Veterans, some of whom become new members.  We have two events left for the year.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans Report:  Luker.   No report.  Next meeting is next Monday.
Michigan State Council:  Luker.  No report.  Next meeting is 20 October.
Memorial Committee Report:  Merritt.  The season is nearly over.  We will have a fall cleanup on 17 October.  We’ll probably be there all day.  You can stop by for an hour or two whenever it suits you, but we’ll be starting work at 0900.  We will have crews from two Home Depots helping us do some extra work.
Tomorrow, we will take down the Veteran Suicide Prevention Demonstration at 1030.  Please stop by if you would like to help pack things up.
Website Committee Report:  McCrumb.    We've had 150,000 hits thus far.
Membership Report:  McCrumb.  Officially, national shows us at 207.  With our new members tonight, we are at 209.
Newsletter:  Pereira.  No report.
Health Care:  Wilson.  No report.  
VAAAHS Report:  Kinzinger.  Our last VA event was a Halloween Party, at 1730 on Saturday 26 October.  As always, it is a costume event, and we will spent some time together at the Sidetrack afterward.  20 December is the Christmas Party where our VVA Chapter gives away the embroidered shirts.  But you can also join VVA 528 on 17 December when they do their Christmas event at the VA, as long as we don’t have too many people.  26 Nov is the Dawn Farm Thanksgiving Dinner purchase and delivery. We meet at Kroger on Maple Road at 1600 and then meet at Dawn Farm at 1800.
Old Business:  None
New Business:  Motion Feight/Fredo to Support Veterans Day Program in Chelsea with $150 donation.  Approved.
Good of the Order:  Draper,  John K will be at the First United Methodist Church in Ypsilanti at 1400 on Sunday, 20 October, to talk about and answer questions about his book and the 76 people whose names appear on our Memorial. He will also have more free copies of the book on hand.
Perrault    Our holiday packing party will open at 1430, to set up.  At 1500, we will begin packing.  We’ll be done no later than 1600 so don’t be late.  There will be a pot luck dinner afterward.  We have been doing this for more than 30 years.  We’ve spent more than $80,000 on postage.  We’ve sent out more than 4,200 boxes, so far.
Throneberry - Please come to the fourth Tell Your Story Open Mike Night at 1730 on 30 Oct at the VFW on Wagner Road.  This is a family friendly event.  Cake or donuts will be provided as well as the good stories.  Our next one will be 20 November.  We hope our December event will be held at the VA hospital on 18 December.
Draper:    The American Legion worked with the City of Ann Arbor for more than a year to get permission to erect a flagpole dedicated to veterans on the Veterans Park property.  The Ann Arbor VFW made a substantial contribution to the project as well.  As a representative of the Legion, I would like to present Certificates of Appreciation to four people who made a significant contribution. Unfortunately, Kathy and Tim Driscoll can’t be here due to Kathy’s operation.  Also, Vance McCrumb couldn’t be here tonight.  
Presentation: To Meni Draper for her support of the flagpole dedication ceremony, including being the still photographer for the event.
Merritt:    Breakfast Friday, November 15th 0900 at Bomber Restaurant at 306 East Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti MI.
Closing Prayer: Bob Bull.
Salute the Flag
Adjourned 1947
Respectfully Submitted, Jon Luker

September 2019

Regular Meeting Minutes - VVA Chapter 310
12 Sep 2019
Call to order by Vice President Harrison at 1900
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: Kinzinger
Moment of silence for POW/MIA’s, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll call:  A quorum was established.  Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members:    None
Guests:  None
Motion to Approve the August Minutes by Rivers/St Antoine. Approved.
President’s Report:   Harrison
The Piggy went very well due to the grand participation of so many volunteers.
Who is going to run it next year?  We need to get started earlier next year.
Treasure’s Report:  Bourne.  Excused.  No Report.
AVVA Report:  Driscoll.  Please see attached report.  
Food Pantry:  Miller.  No Activity.
Merchandise Report:  St Antoine.   We are half way through September and things are looking good.  Thank you for all of your help, not just at the recent events but through the year.  We are not ending in September as was stated in the Dispatch.  We will do the VA in December.  But the real good news is that we have two people who volunteered to help run the committee next year.  We still need somebody to manage ordering and somebody else to manage credit card transactions.  Our next event will be at Ann Arbor Arms this Saturday.  This event is our first chance to see a lot of younger veterans.  
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans Report:  Luker.   The Council is monitoring the situation with the cancelation of Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program contracts throughout Michigan including Washtenaw County.  The Council is also planning to host two bingo nights at the VA on meeting night Mondays.  We will do the bingo first and hold the meeting second.
Michigan State Council:  Luker.  No report.
Memorial Committee Report:  Merritt.  Season nearly over.  Not being able to water has impacted both the weeds and the grass this year.  We are also looking forward to restarting our contract with Hometown Pest & Lawn later this fall.  Thank you to the crews who keep the Memorial looking clean and respectful.
Website Committee Report:  McCrumb.   Site hits to date 147,400
Membership Report:  McCrumb.  We are down to 204 members due to recent deaths.
Newsletter:  Pereira.  No report.
Health Care:  Wilson.  We are following up on a rumor that they are going to make the Detroit VA a CBOC.  That means they would no longer do any inpatient care, just clinics.  According to the same rumor, the Ann Arbor director would then be in charge of both facilities.  We will let you know when we learn more.  
VAAAHS Report:  Kinzinger.  Our next VA event will be the Halloween Party at 1730 on Saturday 26 October.  As always, it is a costume event and we will spend some time together at the Sidetrack afterward.  20 December is the Christmas Party where our VVA Chapter gives away the embroidered shirts.  But you can also join VVA 528 on 17 December when they do their Christmas event at the VA, as long as we don’t have too many people.  26 Nov is the Dawn Farm Thanksgiving Dinner.  We meet at Kroger’s on Maple Road at 1600, and then meet at Dawn Farm at 1800 to drop off the food and speak with some of the residents.
Old Business:  None
New Business:  None
Good of the Order:  Kinzinger J     We held two pancakes breakfasts at the VFW hall in Ann Arbor during September.  The idea was to get all of the units that meet here, to meet as a large group to generate comradery.  We believe it had that effect.  The events also generated some revenue which was donated to the VA’s coffee fund.  VFW will do at least one on 5 October.
Luker    At Ypsilanti Township’s request, the Memorial Committee tracked down Veterans Refuge Network – the group that held a Veterans Suicide Prevention Demonstration on the township grounds a few years back.  Veterans Refuge agreed to provide 660 crosses, representing the number of veterans who would commit suicide in a month.  However, they could not do the work of putting them up or publicizing the event.  Employees from the township, AVVA and VVA 310 members, a Livingston County Homeschool Co-op and the VFW gave us enough volunteers to place 22 crosses each day for a month.  The last crosses will be placed on 5 October and will remain in place for seven more days.
Draper    American Legion Post 46 is sponsoring a flag raising ceremony at Veterans Park in Ann Arbor at 1400 on 29 September.  This will also be the formal dedication of the new flagpole paid for by the American Legion and the VFW.  Parking was expected to be a problem, but former Sheriff Doug Harvey arranged for permission to park cars on the grass on the Maple Road side of the park.
McCrumb    If you do not have your free copy of the book of veteran stories, please see me.
Throneberry    Please come to the third Open Mic Night at 1730 on 25 Oct at the VFW on Wagner Road.  This is a family friendly event.  Cake or donuts will be provided as well as the good stories.
Merritt:    Breakfast tomorrow at 0900 at Brewed Awakenings.
Closing Prayer: Mayes
Salute the Flag
Adjourned 1948.
Respectfully Submitted, Jon Luker

August 2019

Regular Meeting Minutes - VVA Chapter 310
By Jon Luker, Secretary

8 Aug 2019
Call to order by President Driscoll at 1902
Pledge of Allegiance
Opening Prayer: Kinzinger
Moment of silence for POW/MIA’s, their families and those who are serving in hazardous places around the world.
Roll call:  A quorum was established.  Welcome Home, Everyone!
New Members:    None
Guests:  Bob Kwiecinski was here for his birthday!  Bill Gibson who lives in Munith and doesn’t get to Ann Arbor often got a chance to make the meeting tonight.  Welcome home both of you.
Motion to Approve the May Minutes by Brooks-Miller/Merritt. Approved.
President’s Report:
The Piggy is going to happen this year.  It is because many members and AVVA are working on making it happen.  Sponsors are showing up.
Saline Chamber of Commerce has had a change of command.  They are encouraging us to put out veteran information on their new information racks.  
Next year’s Memorial Day ceremony is already on the books for Saline.
Treasure’s Report:  Bourne.  Year to date financials reported.  Cash position explained.  No Questions.
AVVA Report:  Driscoll.  Please see attached report.  
Food Pantry:  Miller.  No Activity.
Merchandise Report:  St Antoine.  We’ll need help at the Pig Roast, then at Ann Arbor Arms, then at the Clinton Fall Festival, as well as at the VA.  Signup sheets are going around.  We also need people who will help us take things down.  We still need somebody to take over the operation after we finish in September.  If nobody does, we close the second week of September.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans Report:  Luker.  August Wallman, Commander of DAV 13 and representative to the Council, died suddenly.  The Council is also investigating reports that the US Department of Labor is canceling or refusing to issue contracts under the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.  
Michigan State Council:  Sandie Wilson won a land slide reelection to the Board Member at Large position she has held for many years.  Jack McManus won the election for the National Treasurer, assuring us that we will finally get a finance report that actual people can understand.  Long time Michigan State Council President, John Riling, was elected to be the Region 5 Director as well.  The members voted to order the Board of Directors to prepare a plan for approval by the members changing the name of the VVA and to change qualifications so that all veterans may join. The new plan must be presented for member approval at the 2021 convention.
A plan calling for a specific closing date was defeated.  A plan authorizing (but not requiring) the Board to take such action as necessary to close the VVA was also defeated.
Memorial Committee Report:  Merritt.  Harrison is going to give us an edger that should last the rest of the year, so we are not going to replace the weed whip yet.  We are going to wait until cooler weather to change the wood chips around the bushes for rocks.  
Website Committee Report:  McCrumb.   Our site does get visited.  140,000 hits so far.
Membership Report:  McCrumb.  210 members.
Newsletter:  Pereira.  No report.
Health Care:  Wilson.  No report.  
VAAAHS Report:  Kinzinger.  Our next VA event will be the Halloween Party, at 1730 on Saturday 26 October.  As always, it is a costume event and we will spend some time together at the Sidetrack afterward.  20 December the Christmas Party - the underwear giveaway.  26 Nov is Dawn Farm. We meet at Kroger on Maple Road at 1600 and then meet at Dawn Farm at 1800.   
Old Business:  None
New Business:  None
Good of the Order:
Luker    Lloyd Lee’s nephew is offering a great discount to veterans who need a golf cart at Kokomo.  You can reserve yours by calling Paul, (the nephew) at 765-464-9760.
Kinzinger    10 pallets of girl scout cookies will be here at the VFW on 1600 on Monday.  We will need help to unload the trucks and distribute the cookies.
Brooks-Miller    There is a flyer available for a Veterans Radio event called “There I was.”  It is an open mic night where veterans can tell their stories. These nights will be the last Wednesday of the month for the next four months. The first one was “How you got into the service.”  The next one is your story about basic training.  These events will be conducted at the VFW 423 Hall from 1800-2000.  The next one is 28 August. The stories are recorded and made available as a podcast on Veterans Radio.  They will also be donated to the Smithsonian Institute as part of the National Oral History Project.
White:    There will be a groundbreaking at Veterans Memorial Park for a new 40-foot-high flagpole being paid for by VFW and American Legion ($10K each).  John K will be one of the people with a shovel at the event, representing the VFW.  The City will be doing the landscaping.  After construction is finished, a dedication for the flagpole will be scheduled.
Driscoll:    Breakfast tomorrow at 0900 at The Bomber.
Closing Prayer: Kinzinger
Salute the Flag
Adjourned 2002.
Respectfully Submitted, Jon Luker