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THE SPIRIT OF ‘776

F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 0 N E W S L E T T E R
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA CHAPTER 776
“ I N S E RV I C E T O A M E R I C A . ”

Service Officers Rocky Blier to


speak at the
Clarke Barnes dedication of
309 944-3674 the John Baker
Ed Gaudet Memorial
563 343-9456 Chapter 299 has
announced that four time
Superbowl champion
David Woods
football star of the
563 391-3702
Pittsburg Steelers and
Vietnam Veteran Rocky
Blier will be the guest
speaker at the dedication
Service Coordinators of the John Baker
R. Ernest Ledjte Memorial. Rocky Blier is
563 785-6182 a combat wounded
veteran of the Vietnam
War.

The Next Chapter Meeting will be held at the


Bettendorf Public Library at 7:00 P.M. on
February 24.
Officers and Board of Directors
President Greg Paulline 388-9068 Dir. Mike DeGeeter 391-8427
Vice-President Marlene Marolf 391-9621 Dir. Ed Gaudet 659-5421
Treasurer Harold Hansen 391-7776 Dir. Ed Gilmore 792-2415
Secretary John Lavelle 355-4213 Dir. Art Heyderman 359-4186
Web Master Roger Granbois 650-4958 Dir. Larry Witt 388-7179
Minutes of Membership Meeting January 27, 2010

President Greg Paulline called the meeting to order at 1900 hours. A pledge of allegiance and a moment of
silence for all POW/MIA and all those still serving out country in uniform were observed by the membership.
A short introduction of all members followed. The secretary’s report was accepted as published in the
newsletter with the exception and correction that Larry Witt gave the membership report, not Harold Hansen as
was published in the last newsletter. Harold Hansen gave us a report on the financial condition of the chapter.
Larry Witt reported that we have 116 VVA members and 18 AVVA members for a total of 134 members
currently in the chapter. Mike Melroy reported that he had found someone who can embroider the service
ribbons on the shirts of the honor guard members uniforms. Carolyn Beck indicated that the company she
works with can also do this and will report to Mike at a latter date on the cost for doing this. Mike Melroy also
indicated that our honor guard rifles would be on loan to VVA Chapter 299 while their weapons are being
repaired. A list of serial numbers will be created on an official form and signed over to the VVA 299 honor
guard for the period of time they will need to employ our rifles. VSO David Woods said that PTSD has
become a recent issue with the military and that 10% of the veterans who claim some form of this malady are
being released from the military. He also stated that at the present time claims in the VA system are months
behind schedule. John Lavelle spoke to the members about The Agent Orange Legacy. This group is very
concerned about the situation of Agent Orange dioxins and its effects upon the children of Vietnam veterans.
Recently the Vietnam Veterans of America has invited Agent Orange Legacy to become a part of its Agent
Orange group. The chapter members learned of the passing of Sergeant Major Bob Graham. We received a
correspondence from the wife of veteran Frank Tate thanking Ed Gaudet for presenting him with a poster of
Vietnam. David Woods told the membership the 700 WWII veterans are on the list for the Honor Flight trip to
Washington D.C. and that so far QCA veterans groups have donated $103,000 toward Honor Flight. David
Woods handed out coupons for Chili’s (located at 4020 E. 53rd Street Davenport IA). They are to be used
Monday through Thursday during the month of February. These coupons will provide for a donation of 10% of
the purchase to the Honor Flight of the Quad Cities. Jett Bork told the members that February sales of the $5
coupon books from Younkers at both South Park Mall and North Park Mall will benefit our chapter and he
plans to send out an email enlisting the assistance of chapter members in selling these books. The books sell
for $5 and those who purchase them may use them for $5 worth of purchasing power so it is a win-win
situation for those who purchase them. Art Heyderman informed the members of the latest visit to the patients
at the Iowa City VA Hospital, which took place on December 24th. The food and gifts for patients totaled over
$1,850 and food that was left over was donated to the Humility of Mary group at the Café on Vine. The next
trip to Iowa City VA Hospital is scheduled for March 17th and the group will meet at the Flying J truck stop at
7:00 A.M. and leave at 8 A.M. for Iowa City. Chapter 299 is going to Iowa City on March 2nd and will meet at
the Machine Shed at 7:00 A.M., for anyone who would like to join them. Carolyn Beck told the group that
Toys For Tots helped out 3,850 families, which accounted for about 7,400 children who received presents this
past Christmas. Bill Pinault went over a few of the lessons learned from our recent online auction, one major
concern would be to hold the prize pick up on a weekend. Greg Paulline spoke about the chapter Christmas
party. It was agreed that he and his wife did an outstanding job this year with the celebration. Some discussion
took place about next year’s party location and the possible date of the party. Greg will be looking into that as
the time for the gathering nears. The Vietnam era trivia was a great success and identifying the pictures of
members from their Vietnam and military days was great fun. The members voted on the chapter scholarship
for this our first year and decided we will offer two $500 scholarships. The information and guidelines for the
scholarship are to be posted on the chapter web site. Larry Witt is the chairman of the scholarship committee.
The members developed a team to compete in the Chapter 299 Trivia Night to be held at the Moline American
Legion Post on February 6th. Also on February 6th a wild game dinner will be held at the DeWitt American
Legion Post beginning at 6:00 P.M. Jason Kerr told the members about the GIVE – Golf for Injured Veterans
Everywhere program. The program director is Kurt Sickels and its goal is to “enhance the veteran’s mental,
social, physical and emotional well being; and to improve quality of life through golf.” More information on
this program can be obtained through their web site at http://www.giveforveterans.com or by contacting them
through their email at info@giveforveterans.com If you are a veteran enrolled in a VA facility in the Network
23 service area then you can participate in FREE golf. Not only will you be able to play for free, but you can
bring along your spouse, significant other, or any family member of your choice. The Davenport Library has
asked veterans to participate in an Oral History event. Contact the Davenport Public Library for further
information on this. Vietnam Veteran Pat Sayjack was a guest on Jeopardy and won $55,000 that he then
donated to the VA. Pat served with AFVN during the war. Veterans who attended the Vets Day on the Hill
have asked that the non-residency aspect of the hunting and fishing license be removed for service-connected
veterans in Iowa. In Illinois the non-residency license is free for service-connected veterans. MAVA will be
celebrating 25 Years. Congratulation to the members of MAVA and thank you for your service. Chapter 299
will have Rocky Blier as a special guest speaker for the dedication of the John Baker memorial. Rocky Blier
was a member of the 198th LIB of the Americal Division and also a member of the Superbowl Champion
Pittsburg Steelers. Blier a wounded combat veteran is also a spokesperson for the Wounded Warrior Program.
For those interested in the story of Rocky Blier’s experience you can view it on line at <http://
sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=bleier/091110&sportCat=nfl>
The meeting was adjourned. Submitted by John P. Lavelle, secretary.
GIVE - Golf for Injured Vets Everywhere

When Can You Start?

Media Day - March 28th at 1:00 P.M. Annual Kick-off

Saturdays 3, 10, 17, 24 Apr, 1 May 1400-1600


Session I

Wednesdays 7, 14, 21, 28 Apr. 5 May 1000-1200 II


Session II
A NOTE FROM THE SCHOLARSHIP
Thursdays 6, 13, 20, 27 May, 3 June 1400-1600 COMMITTEE
Session III
1700-1900 Session IV Have you been to our website (vva776.org) lately? You
should, especially if you have a child or grandchild who
Where? plans to attend college or trade school this fall, OR if
Riverside Golf and Casino Resort, 3184 HWY 22, you or your spouse plans on going back to school.
Riverside, IA 52327
Contact: Kirt Sickels (319) 358-5963 kirt.sickels@va.gov Last year, our chapter voted to begin offering at least
one $500 scholarship per year to students who wish to
TRIVIA TEAM COMPETES AT THE further their education. At our January meeting, our
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA members voted to fund two $500 scholarships this year.
CHAPTER 299 TRIVIA NIGHT According to our guidelines, priority for those
On February 6th, John Lavelle, Larry and Vicki scholarships will be given to families of our members.
Witt, David and Marianne Woods, Greg and Call it a perk for being a member. You can fill out an
Terri Paulline, and Tony and Sue LaMantia all application at vva776.org but if you don't have a
enjoyed the Trivia Night hosted by Chapter 299 computer, just call me at (563) 388- 7179 and I'll send
as one of their fund raisers. We still have some one to you.
memories from those good old days. Larry Witt, Scholarship Chairperson