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Chapter Meeting Minutes June 2021

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Membership Meeting Minutes
13 May 2021
Call to Order by President Harrison 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 April Minutes as published in the Dispatch. Bull/St Antoine. Approved.
Swearing in of Officers and Board Members: Wilson
New Business:
Motion by Luker, seconded by Bourne, to name the new corporation “Local Veterans Alliance.” Approved.
Motion by McCrumb, seconded by Perrault, to conduct Watch Fire on 30 May approved without objection.
Motion by Wilson to limit the number of flags burned to six died for lack of a second.
Officer Reports:
President’s Report: Memorial Day planning is underway. The ceremony will begin at 1300, followed by unveiling the member bricks.
Treasurer’s Report: Reports were emailed to the board. Reports were also made available to members and others via email on request. We received $3,500 for Pig Roast donations, which qualifies us to receive the $1,000 matching fund gift as well.
AVVA Report: The report is printed in the Dispatch.
Committee Reports:
Merchandise: No activity but I do have challenge coins with me tonight.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: Harrison. We learned that there is now $70,000,000.00 in the Veterans Trust Fund, so make sure that veterans who have needs know about that and apply for it.
Michigan State Council: Luker. DAV is no longer doing VSO work. VVA hired most of their employees and is picking up where DAV left off. The State Council is also getting ready for the Region 5 preconference to be held in Columbus Ohio 24 – 26 September.
Memorial Maintenance: Merritt – Lawns crews are out and doing good work. The changes we made to drainage are showing now in that the boxwood bushes have grown 3 inches since this spring. The building project is underway. Diversified Excavation installed water, did some initial grading, dug footers for the building and the trench for the electricity and then regraded and reseeded the area. Doan Construction expects to pour the foundation in the first week of June.
Website: McCrumb. Almost 8,000 hits this month, so we are up to 277,483 hits. 3,000 people hit the Memorial page on Google Maps, 5 of whom clicked through to the website.
Membership: We are at 209 again.
Newsletter: Pereira. No report.
Healthcare: Wilson. You may now take your family members with you to the VA when you get your vaccine and they will be vaccinated also. If you haven’t been vaccinated, wear your damn mask. But, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks, you don’t need to wear a mask anywhere anymore. Officer workers will be allowed to return to work in a couple weeks.
CSKMC: (Formerly VAAAHS, Formerly AAVAMC) Kinzinger. The evening meal on the Fourth of July is being upgraded to steak. The meal is being paid for out of the Support for Hospitalized Veterans Fund.
Old Business: None
Good of the Order: Dunlap: There will be a three-hour pepper spray class here at 1000 on 12 June 2021 for people who are 18 years old or older. The fee is $10. The VFW will provide food. I will also be teaching a CPR class on 25 July 2021.
Draper: As you may have seen in our April Dispatch, several of our members were honored for the volunteer work at the VA hospital. The highest awards were received by our chapter members.
Merritt: Breakfast tomorrow will be at 0900 at Holiday’s Restaurant in Ann Arbor.
Bourne: Not many of the veterans who are food insecure are able to get to Holiday’s Restaurant to take advantage of the gift cards that were donated to us for that purpose. Therefore, we have decided to sell the gift cards at face value and use the funds from those sales to purchase gift cards from places like Meijer’s and Kroger’s that can be more easily used by the intended beneficiaries of the gifts.
Kinzinger: Our guys are being remembered. Jane and I went to Larry Persoski’s funeral at Holly. While we were there, we visited Dave Hizer’s grave and then went to the columbarium to see the final resting place of Pete Belair, David Belair and Doc Martinez.
Wilson: I was working with a doctor who is researching disease among Vietnam veteran children. Her research has shown that there are many more cases of ADHD and Autism in veteran families than there are in civilian families. As you may remember, there are 91,000 specimens in storage at Wurtsmith Air Force Base that came from the Operation Ranch Hand research. Linda Swartz must find a new place for them because the Air Force is no longer authorized to do non-war activities. I will be doing an Agent Orange presentation up north once people are permitted to come.
Wilson: Need to do early registrations for the convention if we can. Rubber chicken for the Saturday night banquet. Delegates should apply soon.
St Antoine: There are several lawsuits going against California Air Force bases for cancer caused by PFOS and other water pollutants.
Bull: The VA hospital is already using its new official name. There will be a public name change ceremony in June, probably.
Bull: We and Team Red, White & Blue are cohosting a Flag Day event here at the post on 13 June. We will hold an old-fashioned picnic like the churches used to do. There is not a set itinerary. It is just a time for families to relax and mingle with others. There will be games for all generations of kids from 3-legged sack races to corn hole and games the whole family can enjoy. We will serve traditional picnic fare, including pop, water and beer. Bring a lawn chair and any special food or beverage you want. We will have a campfire going until closing. At some point, we will have a flag retirement ceremony as well.
Hall: We lost our last Gold Star mother. She was the last mother to survive the people on our wall.
Luker: On some of the copies of the April Dispatch, the name of the funeral home that donated our dinner for the April meeting did not show through. For the record, the meal was provided by Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Saline.
Closing Prayer Bob Bull
Flag Salute
Meeting Adjourned at 1954 hrs.
Chapter Breakfast (11 June 2021): Brewed Awakenens Cafe.

 

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Chapter Minutes April 2021

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Membership Meeting Minutes
8 April 2021


Call to Order by President Harrison at 1901 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. Two or three attended via Zoom. Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members: None.
Guests: None.
Motion to approve the March Minutes as published in the Dispatch. Bull/Clarke Approved.
Meeting Recessed for Nominations for Elected Offices: (Third Round) Wilson
For President: Harrison (accepted)
Vice President: Rivers (declined) McCrumb (accepted)
Secretary: Luker (accepted)
Treasurer: Bourne (accepted)
One Year Board: Moving from two-year Board to one-year Board are: Bob Bull, Sandie Wilson, Steve Hitte, Chris Wetzler and Larry St Antoine.
Two-Year Board
(accepted) Bauder, Betz, Bayha, Kinzinger
(declined) Hall, Perrault, Henry, Driscoll, Merritt, Draper
Sgt at Arms: (accepted) Clarke
Regular Meeting Resumes
President’s Report: The Pig Roast committee has been meeting. $1,000 has been put up as a matching donation, so we need members to step up and make donations. We don’t want to take money out of general fund, but we need a total of $3,200 for the event. We are trying not to ask our usual Pig Roast donors.
We received a thank you note from Dawn Farm for the Thanksgiving dinner we sent them. The note came with a report that they will be getting a new director.
Three of us from the Chapter met with WACU at Camp Liberty. WACU members volunteered to help with the Merchandise Committee, to help plan events that we hope would be family friendly and attractive to PVVs, and they said they would like to be invited to participate in VVA events. They are willing to help put on the events as well as to attend them.
Treasurer’s Report: Bourne. Reports were emailed to the Board. Reports were also made available to members and others via email on request. The major activity this month was $324 of merchandise sales at the 20 March Open House of clothing, pins, and Chapter challenge coins.
AVVA Report: The report is printed in the Dispatch.
Merchandise: No activity other than the Open House. I do have challenge coins with me tonight.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: Harrison. The next council meeting is set for 19 April and will be on Zoom and in person. The council is discussing holding a dinner in Saline.
Michigan State Council: Luker. Next meeting is to be in person in Howell on 19 April.
Memorial Maintenance: Luker for Merritt. The maintenance building could be under construction soon. Everything is set for permits to be completed and we have contractors nearly ready to get to work. Lawn crews are back at work. Though the grass hasn’t grown much, crews are clearing dead branches, pulling weeds and so forth.
Website: McCrumb. We get about 210 hits a day. Total is around 269,000.
Membership: McCrumb. The official number is lagging. We are at 210 even though Dave Hizer passed away, heart attack. We received a new member’s paperwork today.
Newsletter: Pereira. No report.
Healthcare: Wilson. You may now take your family members with you to the VA when you get your vaccine and they will be vaccinated also. The VA has not yet begun to act on the new presumptive agent orange injuries. The VA has also not started to do the research on the effects of adult toxin exposure on children.
CSKMC: (Formerly VAAAHS, Formerly AAVAMC) Kinzinger. The VA is not allowing volunteers to do much yet. However, Don Miller is back to driving the cart.
Old Business: None
New Business: Motion by Luker, seconded by McCrumb, to form a new corporation in such a way that:
It would be able to apply for tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) that will admit any veteran, any veteran’s family, and any veteran’s caregiver from any geographic location; and,
All VVA 310 members and all AVVA members are members of the new corporation unless they opt out; and
All Officers and Board members of VVA 310 are the Officers and Board members of the new corporation until the new corporation has enough members to change that; and
VVA 310 is a Board member with a right of veto for 3 years; and
The Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of members present at the meeting or if 60 members vote for the change, whichever is greater.

Motion by Wilson, seconded by Driscoll to amend the motion to add subparagraph six which reads as follows: “We do not fund the new organization accept when membership approves an appropriation at a regular VVA membership meeting. Amendment Approved. Motion approved.

Good of the Order: Mullins: Our embroiderer is going out of business. If we order jackets and pay the going rate for embroidery, the $75 jacket price will not cover the costs anymore. I will not order new jackets for the time being to give us time to find a new way to get it done.
Bull: “Paint Like Bob Ross” class will be at 1300 on Saturday. There is no cost to the veteran and all necessary materials are provided. Erika Behm is providing breakfast for the group that day.
Throneberry: “The People vs Agent Orange” is a new documentary about Agent Orange and its effects on people and on the planet. We did a show on the documentary. You can find a link to this and to other documentaries on the Veterans Radio webpage. For example, there is a new one called “Wounded Heroes” about the treatment of PTSD. That video is free for streaming and there is a link on our webpage.
Also, Jim Fausone will be the main speaker on our next program. He will be talking about tinnitus. It is such a serious problem that some people have chosen suicide over living with it.
Bull: We are planning a family picnic for the families of all four organizations that meet at the VFW hall.
Harrison: Tonight’s pizza dinner was donated by:
301 East Michigan Ave. Saline, MI  48176
Phone: 734-429-9760 Fax: 734-944-5022
Bull: Starting on 1 May, we will have a birthday party on the first Saturday of the month at the Veteran Resource Center. The VRC is functioning well and now also has a webpage.
Driscoll: Let’s have a round of applause for Bob Bull for all he does for us and our veterans.
Closing Prayer Bob Bull
Flag Salute
Meeting Adjourned at 2019 hrs.
Chapter Breakfast: May 14, 2021: TBD

___________________

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Membership Meeting Minutes
8 April 2021
Call to Order by President Harrison at 1901 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. Everyone attended via Zoom. Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members: None.
Guests: None.
Motion to approve the March Minutes as published in the Dispatch. Bull/Clarke Approved.
Meeting Recessed for Nominations for Elected Offices: (Third Round) Wilson
For President: Harrison (accepted)
Vice President: Rivers (declined) McCrumb (accepted)
Secretary: Luker (accepted)
Treasurer: Bourne (accepted)
One Year Board: Moving from two-year board to one-year board are: Bob Bull, Sandie Wilson, Steve Hitte, Chris Wetzler and Larry St Antoine.
Two-Year Board
(accepted) Bauder, Betz, Bayha, Kinzinger
(declined) Hall, Perrault, Henry, Driscoll, Merritt, Draper
Sgt at Arms: (accepted) Clarke
Regular Meeting Resumes
President’s Report: The Pig Roast committee has been meeting. $1,000 has been put up as a matching donation, so we need members to step up and make donations. We don’t want to take money out of general fund, but we need a total of $3,200 for the event. We are trying not to ask our usual Pig Roast donors.
We received a thank you note from Dawn Farms for the Thanksgiving dinner we sent them. The note came with a report that they will be getting a new director.
Three of us from the Chapter met with WACU at Camp Liberty. WACU members volunteered to help with the Merchandise committee, to help plan events that we hope would be family friendly and attractive to PVVs, and they said they would like to be invited to participate in VVA events. They are willing to help put on the events as well as to attend them.
Treasurer’s Report: Reports were emailed to the board. Reports were also made available to members and others via email on request. The major activity this month was merchandise sales at the 20 March open house. Most of the sales came from challenge coins.
AVVA Report: The report is printed in the Dispatch.
Merchandise: No activity other than the open house. I do have challenge coins with me tonight.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: Harrison. The next council meeting is set for 19 April and will be on zoom and in person. The council is discussing holding a dinner in Saline.
Michigan State Council: Luker. Next meeting is to be in person in Howell on 19 April.
Memorial Maintenance: Luker for Merritt – The maintenance building could be under construction soon. Everything is set for permits to be completed and we have contractors nearly ready to get to work. Lawn crews are back at work. Though the grass hasn’t grown much, crews are clearing dead branches, pulling weeds and so forth.
Website: McCrumb. We get about 210 hits a day. Total is around 269,000.
Membership: The official number is lagging. We are at 210 even though Dave Hizer had a heart attack and died. We received a new member’s paperwork today.
Newsletter: Pereira. No report.
Healthcare: Wilson. You may now take your family members with you to the VA when you get your vaccine and they will be vaccinated also. The VA has not yet begun to act on the new presumptive agent orange injuries. The VA has also not started to do the research on the effects of adult toxin exposure on children.
CSKMC: (Formerly VAAAHS, Formerly AAVAMC) Kinzinger. The VA is not allowing volunteers to do much yet. However, Don Miller is back to driving the cart.
Old Business: None
New Business: Motion by Luker, seconded by McCrumb, to form a new corporation in such a way that:
It would be able to apply for tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) that will admit any veteran, any veterans’ family, and any veterans’ caregiver from any geographic location; and,
All VVA 310 members and all AVVA members are members of the new corporation unless they opt out; and
All officers and board members of VVA 310 are the officers and board members of the new corporation until the new corporation has enough members to change that; and
VVA 310 is a board member with a right of veto for 3 years; and
The Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of members present at the meeting or if 60 members vote for the change, whichever is greater.

Motion by Wilson, seconded by Driscoll to amend the motion to add subparagraph six which reads as follows: “We do not fund the new organization accept when membership approves an appropriation at a regular VVA membership meeting. Amendment Approved. Motion approved.

Good of the Order: Mullins: Our embroiderer is going out of business. If we order jackets and pay the going rate for embroidery, the $75 jacket price will not cover the costs anymore. I will not order new jackets for the time being to give us time to find a new way to get it done.
Bull: “Paint Like Bob Ross” class will be at 1300 on Saturday. There is no cost to the veteran and all necessary materials are provided. Erika Behm is providing breakfast for the group that day.
Throneberry: “The People vs Agent Orange” is a new documentary about Agent Orange and its effects on people and on the planet. We did a show on the documentary. You can find a link to this and to other documentaries on the Veterans Radio webpage. For example, there is a new one called “Wounded Heroes” about the treatment of PTSD. That video is free for streaming and there is a link on our webpage.
Also, Jim Fausone will be the main speaker on our next program. He will be talking about tinnitus. It is such a serious problem that some people have chosen suicide over living with it.
Bull: We are planning a family picnic for the families of all four organizations that meet at the VFW hall.
Harrison: Tonight’s pizza dinner was donated by: Robinson Bahnmiller Funeral Home
301 East Michigan Ave.  Saline, MI  48176
Phone: 734-429-9760  Fax: 734-944-5022
Bull: Starting on 1 May, we will have a birthday party on the first Saturday of the month at the resource center. The resource center is functioning well and now also has a webpage.
Driscoll: Let’s have a round of applause for Bob Bull for all he does for us and our veterans.
Closing Prayer Bob Bull
Flag Salute
Meeting Adjourned at 2019 hrs.
Chapter Breakfast: tomorrow morning was changed from Holiday’s to Brewed Awakenings due to a Covid related health department order.

___________________

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Membership Meeting Minutes
11 March 2021
Call to Order by President Harrison 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. Three attended via Zoom. Welcome Home Everyone!
New Members: Paul Dunlap, with the Army Security Agency, embedded with the infantry on the ground in Vietnam, intercepting enemy communications.
Guests: None.
Motion to approve the February Minutes as published in the Dispatch. Bull/Hitte. Approved.


Meeting Recessed for Nominations for Elected Offices: (Second Round) Wilson
    President: Harrison (accepted)
    Vice President: Rivers (declined) McCrumb (accepted)
    Secretary: Luker (accepted)
    Treasurer: Bourne (accepted)
    One Year Board: Moving from two-year Board to one-year Board are: Bob Bull, Sandie Wilson, Steve     Hitte, Chris Wetzler and Larry St Antoine.
    Two-Year Board:
    (accepted) Bauder, Betz, Bayha
    (declined) Hall, Perrault, Henry, Driscoll, Merritt, Kinzinger, and Draper
    Sgt at Arms: Clarke (accepted)


Regular Meeting Resumes
President’s Report:  We are working on two major things: The Pig Roast, which will be held at the Saline American Legion; and, strategic planning, especially discussion of starting a new nonprofit corporation.
Treasurer’s Report: Reports were emailed to the Board. Reports were also made available to members and others via email on request. Our year started out with a prediction that expenses would exceed revenue for unrestricted accounts by around $6,700. We amended the budget when Covid hit to reduce that deficit. Our actual year-end result was a net gain of $92, so we did very well in controlling our costs.
The Memorial building project has brought in around $11,000 of which $9,600 has been spent. We hope that most of the rest of the expenses will be met through in-kind contributions. There were no questions.
AVVA Report: The report is printed in the Dispatch.
Merchandise: No activity since the last meeting. We are planning to do an inventory on 21 February. We will have some things to sell at the Open House here on 20 March.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: No Report. The next council meeting is set for 15 March.
Michigan State Council: Luker. No report.
Memorial Maintenance: Merritt. We are waiting for the frost laws to come off to begin construction of the Memorial Maintenance Building. Work should begin this month. Diversified Excavating will be onsite first, preparing the site for concrete and running the water line.
Wendy, Luker and I were able to find a trailer, and we are getting it ready to do a Veterans Suicide Awareness Demonstration at the American Legion in Howell beginning 18 March – National Supreme Sacrifice Day.
Website: McCrumb. It is still working fine. We are following up on the recommendations from Uproar Communications. I added a link on the links page to a website that provides interesting Vietnam statistics from 1998.
Membership: The official number will go up to 210 with tonight’s new member but will go back down to 209 because a member, Richard Rupert, died.
Newsletter: Pereira. No report.
Healthcare: Wilson. I have a 90-minute video on Agent Orange. Dogmen will send it out to members.
Tomorrow, the VVA National Board is voting on whether to change the convention date to 2 through 6 November, still in Greensboro, North Carolina. If it is approved, it will be an in-person convention, not virtual.
VVA National stood up a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Veterans Voice of America. 80% of the members of the new nonprofit are also employees of VVA National. The new nonprofit is in the process of taking over the Veterans Service Officer work that VVA does. They are not taking over any of the rest of the VVA mission. They are in the process of getting VA accreditation so they can take cases on their own, though they will continue to work on the VVA cases as long as there are VVA cases to work.
The VA caregiver program has been expanded to include caregivers of Vietnam era Veterans. A spouse can be compensated up to $1,800 a month in some cases. Caregivers are also able to get classes to help them take better care of themselves and to better understand how to work with a Veteran suffering from PTSD. Other supports are available as well.
Dr Skinner, from the University of Washington, has been studying kids on the autism scale. He recently reported that the kids who were highest on the autism scale were also the ones whose dads had the highest toxin load.
The biological samples that were taken back when Operation Ranch Hand was being investigated will not be destroyed after all. The VA is obligated to maintain them.
CSKMC (Formerly VAAAHS): Kinzinger. The VA is still nearly closed and not letting volunteers do much. The committee is working on plans to provide inpatients with a special meal, like steak, on a holiday like Flag Day or the 4th of July.
Unfinished Business: None
New Business:  Motion by Bull, seconded by Rivers, to hold a regular meeting on 8 April in addition to the Annual Meeting on 11 April. Approved.
Good of the Order: 

Luker: The 8 April meeting is being conducted to give members a time to discuss a motion to start up a new nonprofit that Post Vietnam Veterans can join with us. Details will be sent out prior to the meeting.
Bull: The Veteran Resource Center had 20 visitors yesterday. Although we had younger vets, we also provided a birthday cake to a Veteran to commemorate his 98th birthday.
There is a new metal cabinet near the kitchen cupboards that is being used to hold food that is available for our food pantry program. The food is provided by VCAT. Veterans may obtain a bag of food when the Resource Center is open. A Veteran with a family may receive two bags of food.
Our next Open House is on 20 March. We really need more people from VVA 310 to participate. Three tables will be available for you. There will be lots of resource providers there. And there will be hotdogs and such.
VVA, VFW and the American Legion all participated at the local, regional and state levels to ask the State Legislature to support the Green Alert proposal.
Bourne: The law changing the name of the VA has been signed for some time, but we are still waiting to hear about the details of when and how the Ann Arbor VA will be rededicated in its new name.
McCrumb: A couple people who will be at the Open House provide a photography course for Veterans. I took the class. It was twice a week for 13 weeks. It was a good course. If you are interested in learning about photography, be sure to check them out.
St Antoine: Please be thinking of ways our Chapter can reach out to Post Vietnam Veterans. How do we communicate with them? What events would they like to attend? Please let one of the Board members know what your suggestions and know what you think about attracting newer Veterans.

Closing Prayer: Bob Bull


Flag Salute
Meeting Adjourned at 2020 hrs.
Chapter Breakfast (8 April 2021): TBD

 

__________________

Vietnam Veterans of America
Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310
Regular Membership Meeting Minutes
11 February 2021


Call to Order by President Harrison at 1908 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. Everyone attended via Zoom. Welcome Home Everyone!

New Members: None.

Guests: None.

Motion to approve the January Minutes as published in the Dispatch. Bull/Merritt. Approved.
Meeting Recessed for Nominations for Elected Offices: (First Round) Wilson
   For President: Harrison (accepted)
   Vice President: Rivers (declined)
   Secretary: Luker (accepted)
   Treasurer: Bourne (accepted)
   One Year Board: Moving from two-year board to one-year board are: Bob Bull, Sandie Wilson, Steve Hitte, Chris Wetzler and Larry St Antoine.
   Two-Year Board:  Bauder (accepted)
(not present to accept or declined) Kinzinger
(declined) Hall, Perrault, Henry, Driscoll, Merritt
   Sgt at Arms: (none)


Regular Meeting Resumes

President’s Report: I attended several meetings on your behalf. I also collected our artifacts from storage. Milt Davis expressed his thanks for our letting him take care of the artifacts and for letting him display the artifacts appropriately over the past many years. Next month’s meeting will be both live and zoom.
Treasurer’s Report: Reports were emailed to the Board. Reports were also made available to members and others via email on request. Quiet month. The main revenue was $2,600 for the Christmas program. No expenses. We have collected $1,500 more than we’ve spent so far on the Memorial Building, but we can’t be happy with that yet because we still don’t know how many in-kind donations we will get. We will only get 92% of the GoFundMe account donations because we had to pay service charges totaling 8% of gross. Our unrestricted fund net is almost $3,200 better than we projected in our last budget.

AVVA Report: The report is printed in the Dispatch.

Merchandise: No activity since the last meeting. We are planning to do an inventory on 21 February. We will have something to sell at the Open House here in March.
Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: No Report. The next council meeting is set for 15 February.

Michigan State Council: Luker. No report.

Memorial Maintenance: Merritt. With help from Howell American Legion Riders and the Fowlerville Baptist Church, we completed the effort to build 700 new crosses to be used for the Veteran Suicide Prevention Awareness Demonstration. We are now in the process of acquiring a 6x12 trailer to haul and store the new crosses.

Website: McCrumb. I moved several things off the front page to other pages on the website to make navigation easier. We have had a total of 256,000 hits.

Membership: The official number will go up to 209 when National processes our newest member, Stan Harrison’s brother-in-law, Ken Scruggs.

Newsletter: Pereira. No report.

Healthcare: Wilson. The VA ran out of the first vaccine dose but is still giving the second dose to people with appointments. You can still get the first and second dose from pharmacies around town. Even after you get vaccinated, you should still wear your mask because you can still be a carrier even if you are immune. Bourne added that St. Joseph Hospital stopped doing the first dose immunization at its facility so it could help with the County project taking place at the EMU Convocation Center. Wilson also said that a small committee is looking at what needs to be done to force the VA to comply with the Toxic Exposure Research law passed back in 2016.

CSKMC: (Formerly VAAAHS) Wilson. The VA is still admitting non-Veteran patients from other hospitals, so those other hospitals have room for Covid-19 patients.

Old Business: None

New Business:  Motion by Luker, seconded by Bourne, to approve the amended FY 21-22 budget. Approved.

Good of the Order: Harrison: The Pig Roast is a go. There are still many details to be worked out. We don’t know what restrictions will be in effect and we haven’t struck a deal with the Saline American Legion yet. We do plan to move the event to the Saline American Legion. But we don’t know if the event will be a drive through only, or if we can have some outdoor dining or if we might even be able to have indoor dining. The board did authorize the Pig Roast Committee, headed by John Kinzinger, to develop and execute a plan for the Pig Roast, not to exceed $2,500. We will be asking our members to make private donations so that we do not need to use our general fund. A donor has already offered to match donations we get up to $1,000, so each dollar you give will be worth $2 to us, up to the first $1,000. Also, what we do will depend on how many volunteers we can count on to help. Please let John Kinzinger know if you will be able to help with any of the preparation or with any of the work on the day of Pig Roast. We are thinking the Piggy will be on a Sunday, most likely on of the last two Sundays of the month of August. The committee’s goal is to have the Pig Roast net $2,000.
   Driscoll: The list of Agent Orange Presumptive conditions was expanded by three conditions: Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism. Although the VA had 100 days to implement the additions from when the law passed (1 Jan 2021), vets are asked to submit their claims now or to submit a notice of intent to file a claim now so that the effective date of the award is sooner (resulting in a larger back-pay check)
   Bourne: I still have food cards from Holiday’s Restaurant.
   Bull: There will be paczki at the Resource Center Wednesday. The Center is open from 0930 to 1700.

Closing Prayer: Bob Bull
Flag Salute
Meeting Adjourned at 2009 hrs.
Chapter Breakfast (12 Mar 2021): TBD

_________________________

 

Vietnam Veterans of America

Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310

Regular Membership Meeting Minutes 

14 January 2021

Call to Order by President Harrison at 1905 hrs.

Pledge of Allegiance

Opening Prayer: Robert 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. Everyone attended via Zoom. Welcome Home Everyone!

New Members: None.

Guests: None.

Motion to approve the December Minutes as published in the Dispatch.  Merritt/Driscoll. Approved.

President’s Report:

I recommend that you stop by the Resource Center at the VFW that Bob Bull has set up on Wednesday and Saturday from 9:30 to 5:00.

Treasurer’s Report:  Reports were emailed to officers and board members.  Printed reports or emailed reports were available for those members who wanted them.  Our year-end non-restricted operating results are projected at a budget deficit of $240, which is much better than the $2,266 amended budget deficit we approved last spring.  VAAAHS Christmas Program donations are projected at $14,380 compared to $10,000 budgeted. The non-restricted operating budget for next year is not much different that this year’s.  You can get a copy of the budget by emailing me.  Members will vote on the final version of the budget at the February meeting.

AVVA Report: The report is printed in the Dispatch.  We are collecting sample size toiletries and facial tissues for Fisher House.  They are put in gift bags for the guests there.

Merchandise:  No report.

Washtenaw County Council of Veterans: Bull.  The council meeting was canceled due to MDHHS restrictions.

Michigan State Council: Luker.  No report.

Memorial Maintenance: Merritt. I am starting to put grass cutting teams together for next year.  I am happy that most of this year’s crews are coming back next year, but there are some vacant slots.  Also, please let me know if you would be willing to help as a backup person or to help with special projects. Building construction will have to wait for spring.

Website:  McCrumb.  Another 9,000 or so hits this month for a total around 250,000.  We added pictures from the VA events (underwear delivery and the delivery of the embroidered shirts).

Membership: The official number went down to 208 after Jim Graham passed away.

Newsletter: Pereira. No report. 

Healthcare: Wilson.  The VA is now giving Covid-19 vaccine shots by appointment to people aged 65 or older.  I was able to get in and out in about 22 minutes.  You need to call the VA at 734-222-7100 to get two appointments (because it takes two shots to be effective).

VAAAHS:  Kinzinger.  We have given about $9,000 worth of underwear and embroidered shirts to VA patients.  I was happy to have help moving all the stuff.  Thank you very much for being there, also.  I’m doing better after my surgery, but I couldn’t move anything when it needed to be done.

Old Business: None

New Business: 

Motion by Bull, seconded by Luker, to approve the attached resolution calling for Michigan to adopt the Green Alert system and directing the President to lobby as needed for its adoption by the State.  Approved.

Good of the Order: Bourne: A proposed budget has been developed for next year that predicts a deficit of about $2,762.  You may email me to request a copy of it.  We will vote on it at the February meeting.  We don’t have much we can do with this budget, given that much of it involves fixed expenses.  If we can do any fundraising this year, we will happily adjust the budget according. I still have a lot of cards for Holiday’s Restaurant.  We gave 4 to Fisher House, who could not accept them for reasons they didn’t share.  We gave 4 to Bob Bull for the Resource Center.  He has used only one.  We need to find people who need these.

Bull:  Perhaps we could take a page from other organizations that ask members to contribute $2 a month into an endowment fund. Interest earned on the funds is used to help with unbudgeted program expenses.

Kinzinger:  Volunteered to chair a small committee to study the feasibility of doing a simpler Pig Roast, perhaps with prepared pork and without the raffles and auctions.  Perhaps it could be set up as a drive-through event or socially distanced outdoor event, if restrictions are still in place.  Sandie Wilson and Tim Driscoll volunteered to help.  We hope to have a result by the February meeting.

Bull: The next open house for organizations using the VFW building will be on 20 March from 1000 to 1700, MDHHS regulations permitting.  

Luker: The President vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act; but, since the House and the Senate voted to override the veto, it became law anyway.  That means that bladder cancer, hypothyroidism and Parkinsonism are now included on the list of diseases presumed to be caused by toxic exposure in Vietnam (and other places).  Although the VA has 100 days to implement the law, you should file your claim now (or file your notice of intent to file a claim) if you want your retro check to be larger than it will be if you wait to file.

Closing Prayer Bob Bull

Flag Salute

Meeting Adjourned at 2000 hrs. 

Chapter Breakfast: - TBD. However, you can get breakfast on Saturday at the Resource Center. Lunch also. Doors open at 0930 and close at 1700. Breakfast will be served until noon. Then lunch until 1700.

The Attached Resolution:

Resolution: To adopt the Green Alert System for finding missing veterans in the State of Michigan 

Whereas: Over half of the veterans in Michigan are over 65 years of age, and 

Whereas: Dementia is becoming a growing concern among these older veterans, many of them just walking away from their homes or nursing facilities, and 

Whereas: Many of our veterans also go missing because of stress and trauma associated with their military service to this country, and 

Whereas: The Amber and Silver Alerts have been so effective in helping to find missing children and seniors, and 

Whereas: Like the Amber Alert System, the Green Alert System is activated immediately after notice is given of a missing veteran, not having to wait 24 hours to file a missing persons report, and 

Whereas: 39 other states have voted, ratified, and put into action a Green Alert System, and 

Whereas: An attempt to pass a bill in the US Senate, S699 the National Green Alert Act to help create a National System, has been stuck in committee since mid-2019. 

Therefore: We do hereby resolve that to protect our aging veterans, to prevent any additional harm coming to them, and 

To give their families peace of mind knowing that there is an additional system in place to protect their loved one, in the event that it is needed, a Statewide Green Alert System must be adopted for our over 550,000 veterans, now and for their future.