You are on page 1of 6

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.


Vol 63 Issue 3 United We Stand to Win, Divided We Fall and are Forgotten June 2011
Presidents Message
Dear Southwest Members:
This is the first Newsletter since the 63

Southwest Region Conference in Albuquerque, New
Mexico, April 7-9, 2011. It is also the beginning of a new
experience for me because at that Conference I was
elected Southwest Region President. It was something I
had to consider and re-consider as it is not a commitment
to be taken lightly. Through the years Ive been asked to
consider running for President, and once was nominated
but declined. This year it was step up to the plate time
for me. Kathy Upchurch has gone way beyond the call of
duty in a variety of offices from National down to Chapter
level and done them all very well. Its not easy to follow in
the footsteps of a Kathy Upchurch, but Im going to give it
my best shot. Kathy will continue to be Editor of the
Newsletter which is a tremendous relief to me.
L to R Lorna, Patty, Karen, Betty, Ada, Carol, and Norma
The Southwest Region has elected a fine slate of officers
and each is committed to their position
President Emeritus Kathy Upchurch see above
2010-2011 Officers
President: Lorna Kenny, Inland Empire, CA
Tel: 909 886 2480 Email:
Vice President: Patty Termini, Phoenix. AZ Chapter. Tel:
480-861-9649, Email:
Secretary: Karen Burns Copley, Tucson Chapter AZ.
re-consider: 520 907 5524 Email:
Treasurer: Betty Crawford, Phoenix, AZ Chapter. Tel:
480-895-9063, E-mail:
Parliamentarian: Ada McArthur, MAL, Las Vegas, NV. Tel: 702
489 9825, Email:
Historian: Carol Ellinger, Channel Islands, CA Chapter. Tel:
805 986 9755 E-mail:
Chaplain: Norma Smith, Phoenix Chapter, AZ
Tel: 623 536 9815 Email:

Im a charter member of Inland Empire Chapter,
chartered in 1994, and currently Treasurer. I have held
several offices including President. We are active in
supporting the Jerry Pettis Memorial VA Hospital and the
Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee, as well
as, local JROTC units. We meet several times a year at
March AFB at the Hap Arnold Consolidated Club.
Some of you know my history, but most of you do
not. Im an Air Force widow, my husband Lee J. Kenney,
was active duty stationed in Vietnam (his second tour) in
June 1971, when he was flown home to receive intensive
medical treatment for leukemia. He lived nine days. He
was 39 years old. We had four children, two grown and
two still at home when he passed away. Besides my
children, my salvation was my faith and the great people
at Norton AFB, CA, who rallied around me and helped
save my sanity. I worked on base so the Air Force family-
Region Tieasuiei
Betty Ciawfoiu
Phone: 48u-89S-9u6S
Region Piesiuent: Loina Kenney
Tel: 9u9 886 248u
Euitoi: Kathy 0pchuich
Phone: 6u2 246 u24u
military and civilian came together and couldnt do
enough for me. I will forever be indebted to these
wonderful people. Ive always said that military people are
unique and the greatest human beings on earth!
For those of you who had to miss the SW Region
Conference, Im so sorry because it was an excellent
opportunity to meet new friends, get to know one another
better and visit with long, time friends. Albuquerque is a
beautiful city with growth in every direction but still
maintaining her rich heritage. Old Town has so many
wonderful shops that its an adventure in itself. Taos and
Santa Fe werent so bad either. The trip to Angel Fire is
something to remember always, the dedication to the
Vietnam Veterans is sacred and beautiful, as it should be.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit this Memorial, dont
hesitate for one-second.
Remember to fly our Nations Flag you dont
need a holiday to show your patriotic pride just dont
forget it on Memorial Day and July 4
Your President:
Lorna Kenney
Gavel being passed to Lorna Kenney
Mr. & Mrs. KC Flores Grandson of Elena Gonzales
Sec. of NM Veterans Affairs, Tim Hale (Col. (Ret) USAF
receiving $600 for Homeless Veterans
Report on the Southwest Region
Conference April 8-11, 2011

The Southwest Region Officers hosted the 63rd SW
Region Conference at the Marriott Albuquerque Hotel in
Albuquerque, NM. The Region Officers did a fantastic job
organizing and running the conference. A special Thank You
to Betty Crawford, Patty Termini, Lorna Kenney, Joyce Sihler,
Ada McArthur, Carol Ellinger, Debra Kraus, Patti Sampers and
her sister. The Officers welcomed us with a Hospitality
reception partially sponsored by TRIWEST in our special room.
The Hospitality Room was open throughout the Conference.
We had 27 attend the general meeting on Saturday and
Saturday evening we had 44 attending. We had 24 go to First
Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park in Angel Fire, NM
where we had a wonderful tour guide Tam and driver from
Tours of New Mexico. Tam even had us on the radio coming
into Albuquerque. I dont think any of us will forget the theme
song, Frying Bacon in the Nude. Lots of fun and bonding.
On Saturday, the invocation was given by Joyce
Sihler. The National Guard of New Mexico posted the colors.
Lorna Kenney led us in the Pledge and Ada McArthur read the
purposes of GSW. The following member represented SW
Region at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Events over
Memorial Day in Angel Fire, NM: Dana Chwan, from Sante Fe.
We had 4 Members at Large attending their first conference.
See the beginning of the newsletter for who we nominated for
National Officers and National Board of Directors. Sam
Rollason, National Guard Army Survivor Outreach Service
Coordinator, Doug Katason and Sarah Greengas of ChampVA
and Melvin Finley of TriWest were are speakers for lunch.
Joyce assisted by Ada did a beautiful Memorial Service for our
Region Members who have died.

Resolutions which moved forward to National:
1) Snowball Express V to continue to support and have a co-
coordinator working with special events chair. Snowball
Express V budget of $2000 for expenses last year we spent
$1915.00 sending the support team to Dallas.
2) Donation of $500 to In Memory Program by the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial Foundation.
3) Report Deadlines for Chapter/Region Presidents to be
March 31.
4) Request the Vice President expenses be paid for one of the
Congressional Receptions if she is moving up to President.
Resolutions which were passed for SW Region:
1) Donation of $200 to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in
Angel Fire, NM.
2) To financially assist SW Region Members to attend the TRI-
STATE VVA Expo in Laughlin, NV.
3) Continued financial assistance to SW Region Officers and
National Officers for Conference and National Convention.
The Channel Islands Chapter President Nancy
McKenzie with members Carol Ellinger, Inga McGlurg, and
Joyce Sihler invited the Region to Santa Barbara, California
April 20-21, 2012 for our 64th Annual Conference. The
members accepted their invitation. More information will be in
the Fall newsletter.
Our Guest speakers at the Installation Dinner were:
Adjudant General of National Guard of NM, MG Kenney
Montoya, Secretary of New Mexico Veteran Services, Tim Hale
(USAF, Col Ret) and he accepted our $600 donation for the
New Mexico Veterans Integration Program. Karen Jones, VP
of SW Operations of TRIWEST and Richard Essick were
present. We had a very special guest: KC Flores and his wife.
KC, who is the Grandson of Charter Member Elena Gonzales
of Zia Albuquerque Chapter
Jeanette Early, National VP installed the SW Region
Officers with Debra Kraus, National Historian, did the pinning.
Raffle items were won by many and we adjourned our
conference at 10:20 p.m.
Report written by Kathy Upchurch, President Emeritus
Dues REMINDER.Please check your National
Newsletter label for your Membership Status.
Membership for 2011 ended May 31 to be eligible to
VOTE you must be a member. Please RENEW and send
your check, and updated information as soon as possible.
Call 1 888 751 6350 VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE

Adj. Gen. of
NM National
Guard: MG
Conference Group: Seated: Eunice Farris, Winnifred Averbuck, Mary
Ashton, Patty Termini, Jinix Foster, DJ Walker, Standing: Kathy
Upchurch, Vera Woodard, Debra Kraus, Gaelia Babineau, Mary
Williams, Jeanette Early, Nancy McKenzie, Patti Sampers, Betty
Crawford, Carol Ellinger,
Right to Left Lorna Kenney, Inge McGlurg, Ada McArthur, Pat Kelley,
Karen Copley, Helen Barros, and Norma Smith
Veterans Memorial, Angel Fire, NM
Dana Chwan, our at-large member from Santa
Fe, represented Gold Star Wives at the Memorial Day
activities in Angel Fire, New Mexico.
The memorial was funded and built by the
Westphall family in honor of David Westphall who died in
Vietnam. The founder, the father known as Doc
Westphall, said the peace chapel was to show that there
can be peace among all men and the memorial is to show
the tragedy and futility of war. It was turned over to the
Nation Parks Service and is the only National Park
dedicated solely to Vietnam veterans. The chapel is open
24/7 and there is an outdoor amphitheater, education
center and gift shop on site. Dana set up a table and
gave out our GSW literature and spoke with many
veterans and civilians over the week-end.
Approximately 200 veterans, families and caring
civilians attended the Candlelight Vigil on Sunday
evening, May 29th. Dana spoke on the loss of her
husband, Capt. Michael Chwan, who was a pilot shot
down over North Vietnam in September, 1965. He was
MIA for almost 20 years until his remains were positively
identified and interment was at Arlington in April 1965.
For the entire weekend, there were 50 mph
winds on the knoll site and our Gold Star Wives' wreath
was securely strapped with bungee cords for the Vigil and
the Memorial Day program. Dana says she feels
honored to have represented us and hopes to attend
other events in the Southwest in the future.
For any widows wishing to have their husband's
photo and incident report or bio included in the on site
photo archives, there is a form available to submit this to
the memorial office. They have hundreds on file now, and
hope to get as many more as possible.
Submitted by Dana Chwan 505 471 9395
You can be a member of the David Westphall
Foundation, purchase a brick in honor of your husband
and even volunteer if you live in the area. Ph: 575 377
6900 or
Contact Kate German, Park Ranger Education 575 377
2293 Email:
PO Box 608, Angel Fire, NM 87710
Las Vegas Valley Chapter was installed June 2, 2011.
Kathy Upchurch and Betty Crawford drove from Phoenix
to Las Vegas went by Janet Synders condo to do some
preliminary work. Then they went to the Nevada Benefits
Foundation offices, to set-up the Installation Ceremony.
Kit Frazer, National President, arrived on
Thursday morning from Washington D.C., where she
attended Memorial Day events and the Gold Star Wives
Congressional Reception. Jeanette Early, National Vice
President, also arrived at the same time from Aurora,
National Gold Star Wives Officers, Las Vegas
Valley Chapter members, and Daughters of the American
Revolution members of the Silver State Chapter and
State Regent from Boulder City met at the Suncoast
Buffet for lunch. Then we went to the Nevada Benefits
Foundation office in Summerlin, for the Installation
The Installation of Officers ceremony began at 2
p.m. with Kit Frazer, National President, conducted the
ceremony. Jeanette Early, National Vice President,
pinned the new officers. Each new Officer lit a flameless
Just prior to the ceremony, Michael Klein,
Regional Representative for Senator Harry Reid, read the
Senate Resolution designating April 5, 2011, as 'Gold
Star Wives Day! Roxane Unverich, Caseworker for
Congressman Joe Heck, read the Congressional
Recognition awarded to our Las Vegas Valley
Chapter. Jessi Hotchkiss, District Representative for
Congresswoman Shelly Berkley, gave us congratulations
from Rep. Berkley, and offered the assistance of their Las
Vegas office. Kenya Pierce represented Nevada State
Senator Steven Horsford.

Las Vegas Valley Chapter Officers:
President - Janet Snyder
Vice President - Taunya Offdenkamp
Secretary - Lillie Thomas
Treasurer - Olive Bouault
Parliamentarian - Liz Sorensen
Historian - Janet Snyder
Chaplain - Ilean Goodwill

Approximately 60 Guests and Charter Member attended
the ceremony today. Many leaders in the veteran
community: Henderson Vet Center, Catholic War
Veterans, Jewish War Veterans, Filipino-American
Veterans of Nevada, American Legion, Veterans of
Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Nevada
Office of Veterans Services), Defending Freedom,
Nevada Gold Star Families, American Gold Star Mothers,
Blue Star Mothers, Daughters of the American
Revolution, and the Veterans Reporter newspaper.
A special thank you to Lidsay Carroll, Nevada
Silver State DAR, for being our official photographer. She
did a great job!!
A Gold Star Wives paperweight to Phil Randazzo,
founder of Nevada Benefits Foundation, to thank him for
allowing us to have our Installation Ceremony at his
offices. Thank you so much - to all of you who shared this
historic day with us.
Janet Snyder
President, Las Vegas Valley Chapter
Tel: 702 -227-6566
NEWS from California
! On September 26, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger
signed SB 1455 the Gold Star Family License Plate bill
authored by Senator Dave Cogdill (Modesto). This bill
authorizes the California Department of Veterans Affairs to
sponsor a Gold Star Family specialized license plate program
and waives the 7,500 minimum applications requirement. This
bill authorizes a family member of a member of the Armed
Forces who was killed while serving on active duty in the
military to apply for a special license plate with a design
containing a Gold Star and the words "Gold Star Family." Visit
your local County Veterans Service Office (CVSO). Proof of
relationship will be required but not scrutinized as those that
have served in WWII may be without documentation proving
relationship. Once relationship and proof of service-related
casualty is confirmed, a Gold Star License Plate Application
(VSD 5-1918) and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV
application) will be filled out by the family member and taken to
DMV. Please make sure that the form is signed and dated by
the County Veterans Service Officer. Website: The CDVA
Project: Gold Star California has many other state
News From New Mexico
Gold Star Family Plate
Immediate Family t or spouse of a soldier killed in combat
can obtain a Plate to honor a fallen husband or son or
daughter. There is a four-plate limit per family. The first
plate is free, with all future licensure and registration fees
waived for this plate. Three additional plates can be
obtained for $17 per plate.There are many NM State
Benefits please go on website http:// or call Benefits
Division Alan Martinez, Director (505) 827-6374 or
Rebecca Tapia, Admin. Assistant 505) 827-6383
News From Nevada:
5""2*- Iust by being a veteian - oi the suiviving
spouse of a veteian - you can ieceive a ieuuction
in these fees. You neeu to go to the 6%7.,+!8(3!
-99#99%&:9!;<='4#>!take in a copy of the BB-214
anu ueath ceitificate, anu you will get this
benefit. If the veteian was iateu by the vA as
1uu% uisableu, take in a copy of the vA awaiu
lettei that states he oi she is ueteimineu to be
1uu% uisableu, along with the BB-214 anu ueath
ceitificate. This will give you an auuitional

Phoenix Chapter
meeting with Senator Jon
Kyl on Legislative Issues:
L to R Norma Smith,
Patty Termini, Sen. Kyl,
Mary Williams, Naomi
Greco, and Pat Kelly.
Southwest Region Newsletter
C/O 500 W. Clarendon Ave, Unit A-8
Phoenix, AZ 85013
Nominees from the Southwest Region